FINAL: MSU 7, No. 4 Florida 5

The buzz: The Bulldogs (21-9, 5-5 SEC) pulled off what most observers would consider a stunner. Not only did they beat the No. 4 team in the country, they roughed up the league’s top pitcher, Hudson Randall, who couldn’t make it out of the third inning. Jonathan Ogden took advantage of out-going winds, and the bullpen continued its strong work. Florida fell to 24-7, 7-3.

Big inning: MSU jumped out in the first with four innings, highlighted by Ogden’s two-run homer to left-center field to make it 4-2 Bulldogs. State collected five hits in that inning as Randall threw 29 pitches.

Key stats: The six earned runs yielded by Randall (5-1) upped his season total of earned runs to 10 (you read that correctly); UF stranded 12 runners, MSU seven; MSU pitchers recorded 12 strikeouts.

MSU at the plate: MSU had 12 hits. Ogden had two home runs (first time he’s done that), giving him six for the season, and three RBIs; C.T. Bradford had three hits; Cody Freeman had a double and a homer; Jarrod Parks and Trey Johnson had two hits apiece.

Florida at the plate: Florida had 12 hits. Preston Tucker got three of them. UF had some chances late in the game but came up empty, with a lineout double play ending the seventh and two runners being stranded in scoring position in the eighth.

MSU on the mound: Starter Devin Jones got knocked around, giving up four runs on eight hits in three innings. But the bullpen came to the rescue, with Daryl Norris, Chad Girodo, Taylor Stark and Caleb Reed taking care of business. Stark (2-0) got the win, while Reed got his fifth save.

Florida on the mound: This was a most unusual night for Randall, who had gone 28 consecutive innings without giving up an earned run – that stretches back to the non-SEC schedule. Nick Maronde, the first man out of the ‘pen, gave up the last MSU run.

Bottom line: After being swept at Georgia last week, MSU has bounced back big time. First it rallied past Southern Miss on Tuesday, now this. State is 6-2 against ranked foes this season and his drooling over the chance to take this series Saturday. And with an Ole Miss loss to Georgia tonight, MSU is alone in second place in the SEC West.

Quotable: “A little superstition. I’ve been using the same bat all year. Earlier in the year I switched to another bat, but I went oh-for-that-weekend, so I went back to my old bat.” – Ogden, on his two home runs

Up next: Game 2 is noon Saturday, with sophomore right-hander Chris Stratton (4-2, 3.04) pitching for MSU against sophomore lefty Brian Johnson (4-1, 2.92).

Bonus: I’ve got some video of Ogden talking after the game. Enjoy.