Fant gave up a solo home run in six strong innings, then turned it over to Jalen Beeks and Suggs for the last three innings. Suggs pitched a brilliant ninth for his second close of the weekend in a 3-1 victory for the No. 13 Razorbacks.
Mississippi State, which stayed at home throughout the nonconference schedule, lost its second straight SEC road series. The No. 15 Bulldogs (13-8, 3-6) didn't threaten much against the Hogs (21-8, 6-3) on Sunday.
"It was a great job by our staff," said Dave Van Horn, the UA head coach. "To hold them to one run on a Sunday is pretty impressive."
The key on Sunday was the way the Hogs handled State's red-hot Hunter Renfroe. Fant had him off balance with an assortment of pitches in an 0-for-4 day. Renfroe saw a 15-game hitting streak come to an end. He went down on strikes twice. Renfroe was 6-for-8 in the first two games against the Hogs.
The Hogs got all three of their runs in the first when the first five batters reached against starter Ben Bracewell, normally the State closer.
Jacob Mahan singled and Joe Serrano walked. Then, Tyler Spoon doubled near the line at third to plate Mahan. Brian Anderson walked to load the bases and end Bracewell's day. Reliever Ross Mitchell then walked Matt Vinson to plate a run. Dominic Ficociello's double-play grounder plated the third run.
"We really didn't know what they were thinking," Van Horn said of the State decision to go with Bracewell. "He'd only pitched 12 innings in 10 appearances with incredible numbers. He hadn't allowed an earned run and righthanders were batting .077 against him.
"We just knew we wanted to get him out of the game. We did that, but when we had the bases loaded with no outs and only got three in, that bothered me."
Nothing seemed to bother Fant.
"He is doing what he did in the fall," Van Horn said. "He was good last weekend and we were up 3-1 when he went out. I wish we'd gotten him that win.
"He was as good as anyone we had in the fall. I think his last game in the fall, he went complete game shutout. He pitched the way he's been pitching -- maybe with a few more sliders. He was down and in to the righthanders. I think their first three guys were 1-for-12."
Renfroe never came to the plate with a chance to drive home runs.
"Getting Renfroe out was big," Van Horn said.
Fant said, "I got him out on a changeup the first time, then the next time on a slider. The third time he popped up a fast ball."
Fant said he's changed to a two-seam fast ball this year, with more movement. Suggs said it's been tough on the opposition.
"Randy is doing what Randy does," Suggs said. "He's mixing it and has that devastating change-up."
Van Horn likes what he's seen of Suggs, like Fant, injured to start the year. Fant hurt a hamstring in January. Suggs sustained a rib-cage pull. Both had to battle back after missing the first two weeks of the season.
"I told Suggs after Friday night, that I won't wait around anymore, that we will just go to him in the ninth," Van Horn said. "He's our closer.
"He's back to where he was, great last summer. He rushed himself back to start the season. He was sharp today."
Suggs hit 96 on the radar gun on Friday night. Van Horn suspects he was in the 94 to 95 range on Sunday.
"We don't want him to throw any harder," Van Horn said. "He's fine right where he's at."
That's up from where Suggs was in his first three weeks back when he said mechanics were out of whack.
"My body feels better," Suggs said. "I didn't have my delivery down at first. I got some feedback from (pitching coach Dave Jorn) and Randy (Fant) and some of the other older players. I was opening my glove hand and flying open. I toned that back. Now it's just grip it and rip it."
The Hogs hit the road again with an SEC series at Alabama beginning Thursday night for ESPN. They won't have a midweek game. Van Horn said the plan is to travel after class work on Wednesday, then practice in Tuscaloosa that evening.