By Logan Lowery
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Mississippi State’s road success continued just across the state line on Thursday night.
The 20th-ranked Bulldogs won their ninth consecutive game away from home, claiming a 9-4 victory over No. 19 Alabama. It was MSU’s seventh straight SEC road victory as the team improved to 12-7 away from Starkville this season.
“I think we come together on the road,” said MSU centerfielder C.T. Bradford. “We ride and hang out together. We really get after it, and I think it’s showing on the baseball field.”
The Diamond Dogs (34-19, 17-11 SEC) still trail Ole Miss by a game in the Western Division standings with two regular season games remaining.
Bradford played a key role in State’s offense against the Crimson Tide, reaching base in five of his six at bats. The senior had three singles, two walks and scored three runs in the Bulldogs 14-hit attack.
“We knew Alabama’s Geoffrey Bramblett was a freshman that had a great arm,” Bradford said. “But we just wanted to attack and be patient at the same time. I thought we did a great job of attacking balls that were in the zone and laying off the balls out of the zone. That was our game plan going in and I felt like we executed it very well.”
Alex Detz went 2-for-4 for Mississippi State, including a career-high five runs batted in. Tuscaloosa native Jake Vickerson was 2-for-3 and Seth Heck went 2-for-5 with two RBI.
Jacob Lindgren (5-1) picked up the win in relief, going 12⁄3 perfect innings with a strikeout.
Lindgren came on after Trevor Fitts allowed an earned run on three hits and a walk through 41⁄3 starting frames.
Myles Gentry picked up his third save of the season, going the final three innings.
Alabama (33-20, 14-13) continued its skid, losing six of its last seven SEC outings.
The Tide had seven hits, four of which came in their last three at bats.
Today’s Game 2 is scheduled for a 6 p.m. start, with junior right-hander Spencer Turnbull (5-5, 2.36 ERA) taking the mound for Alabama while the Diamond Dogs will wait until game-time to reveal their starter.
“We don’t want to throw Ross (Mitchell) if he’s not ready,” said MSU skipper John Cohen. “That’ll be a game-time thing. We’ll have him pick it up and see what he says. We’d like to push him to Saturday but then somebody has to be pushed up.”
Cohen said Lucas Laster and Preston Brown would be potential starters if that happens.