STARKVILLE, Miss. – Mississippi State saw its weekend magic run out Sunday afternoon.
The 17th-ranked Bulldogs allowed an eight-run fifth inning. The big offensive at-bat would be enough to lift Florida to an 8-3 victory in the final game of a weekend Southeastern Conference series at Dudy Noble Field.
Despite the shortcomings of Sunday afternoon, the Bulldogs did win a weekend series in league play for the first time this season. For the Bulldogs, it was their first home series win over the Gators since 2006.
MSU is now 26-9 overall and 5-7 in league play, while Florida is 15-18 and 5-7.
“We had a difficult inning, and could not find out way out of it,” MSU head coach John Cohen said. “I thought our kids competed all weekend. We had a chance to sweep a very good Florida club. You don’t get a chance to complete the sweep that often in our conference.”
The Bulldogs carried a 2-0 lead into the fifth inning. MSU started Jacob Lindgren faced 16 batters through four-plus innings. Lindgren (2-1) left the game after tweaking his leg in the fifth inning trying to field a ground ball.
In relief, Myles Gentry followed Lindgren and was touched for a three-run triple by Mike Fahrman. In the end, 12 Gators batted and four Bulldogs pitched. Florida scored eight runs on six hits in the at-bat and also took advantage of MSU’s first error in seven conference games.
For a second straight contest, MSU scored two runs in the first inning. Adam Frazier began with a double and Alex Detz followed with a single. Hunter Renfroe hit a sacrifice-fly. An RBI-single by Brett Pirtle scored the next run.
From there, Johnny Magliozzi (3-1) settled down and threw 5.2 innings to garner the win. Magliozzi allowed five hits and three runs (all earned), with three strikeouts and a walk.
MSU answered with an RBI-single by Jacob Robson in the home half of the fifth inning. The Bulldogs had two others minor threats, standing a pair of runners in the sixth and ninth innings.
"I feel like we're on the verge of doing some special things but for us to do that, we have to defend," Cohen said. "We didn't defend in that one inning and we have to get back to our identity but we are not going to get down based off just one inning even though certainly it was a bad one."
The Bulldogs finished with eight hits, including Robson’s second multi-hit game in the Maroon and White.
Josh Tobias had three of Florida’s 11 hits.
MSU hits the road for a Tuesday night matchup with in-state rival Ole Miss. The teams will play at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday for the Governor’s Cup at Trustmark Park in Pearl. Conference play resumes next weekend when MSU travels to Texas A&M.