Mississippi State baseball splits doubleheader at Florida on Saturday

By  | 

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - (MSU Athletics) - The Mississippi State baseball program split a pair of games in a top-five showdown at McKethan Stadium, as the No. 5 Bulldogs claimed the first game of the day, 10-5, before dropping a 4-1 decision to the No. 4 Gators in the nightcap.

With the game one win, Mississippi State’s (18-2, 2-1 SEC) winning streak sat at 14 games, matching the 1985 squad’s streak that is No. 4 all-time at MSU. Florida (15-7, 1-2 SEC) got the second game of the day behind a solid start from Tyler Dyson to halt the streak.

In game one, the Mississippi State offense got rolling early, as senior Jake Mangum hit a leadoff home run to open the game. It was the first of three home runs for the Bulldogs in the opening game of the day, as sophomore Tanner Allen and senior Elijah MacNamee also went yard.

In all, six Diamond Dawgs collected multi-hit games in the opener, led by a career-high-tying three hits from junior Dustin Skelton. MacNamee and Mangum each had three hits, with all three of Mangum’s going for extra bases. Sophomore’s Justin Foscue, Josh Hatcher and Allen all chipped in a pair of hits in the first contest of the day.

Freshman JT Ginn (5-0) threw 6 1/3 innings to earn the win in his fifth start of the season. He didn’t walk a batter and fanned 11 for his first career double-digit strikeout game. He surrendered 10 hits and gave up four runs.

Senior Jared Liebelt entered the game in the seventh with a runner on first and one out and protected the 7-3 lead. The right-hander tossed the final 2 2/3 innings to earn his second save of the season. He allowed one run on a ninth-inning home run and struck out one.

In the second game, the Dawgs got out to a 1-0 lead on a Jordan Westburg RBI double, but Florida scored three runs in the fourth and one in the fifth to grab a hold of the momentum. State scratched across a run in the seventh and nearly grabbed the lead, but Mangum’s flyball to the wall in left field was caught as the UF outfielder corralled what would have scored two runs as he crashed into the wall.

Hatcher and MacNamee both collected two more hits in the second game of the day, while Halter and Westburg each had RBI hits in the series finale.