STARKVILLE, Miss. – LSU freshman right-hander Kevin Gausman limited Mississippi State to one run over 7.2 innings Thursday night and the Tigers erupted for 10 runs in the sixth inning to defeat the Bulldogs, 17-1, at Dudy Noble Field.
LSU improved to 35-19 overall and 12-16 in the SEC with Thursday’s victory. The Tigers have won 11 of their last 13 games, including eight of their last 10 league contests.
Mississippi State dropped to 33-20 overall, 13-15 in league play.
The series between the Tigers and the Bulldogs resumes at 6:30 p.m. CDT Friday. The game may be viewed in the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net, and it can be heard on the affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network.
“I thought coming into tonight that the key to the game would be Kevin Gausman, and he gave us another great performance,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “He was dominating on the mound with his fastball and his secondary pitches. I thought our approach at the plate was outstanding and we had several excellent at-bats. I’m so proud of the kids for the way they’ve played over the past few weeks, but we still have a lot of work to do. We have to get the job done here this weekend if we want to accomplish significant goals this season.”
Gausman (5-6), who fired a four-hit shutout against Tennessee last weekend, allowed just four hits in his 7.2-inning outing Friday with one walk and seven strikeouts.
Mississippi State starter Luis Pollorena (6-4) was charged with the loss, as he surrendered seven runs on seven hits with two walks and one strikeout.
LSU’s 14-hit attack was paced by junior centerfielder Mikie Mahtook, who was 3-for-4 with a double, a two-run homer and four RBI. Sophomore Mason Katz was 2-for-4 with two doubles and four RBI, and freshman second baseman JaCoby Jones scored three runs and added a two-run dinger.
LSU opened the scoring in the second inning when centerfielder Mahtook doubled, moved to third on a fly ball by shortstop Austin Nola and scored on third baseman Tyler Hanover’s sacrifice fly.
The Bulldogs tied the game in the bottom of the second as second baseman Nick Vickerson was hit by a Gausman pitch, moved to third on rightfielder Jaron Shepherd’s single and scored on a sacrifice bunt by leftfielder Brent Brownlee.
Mahtook’s bases-loaded single in the third scored two runs and allowed the Tigers to claim a 3-1 lead.
LSU struck for four runs in the fifth to extend the lead to 7-1. Designated hitter Raph Rhymes and Katz delivered RBI doubles and Mahtook blasted a two-run homer to highlight the outburst.
The Tigers erupted for 10 runs in the sixth, sending 14 batters to the plate to expand the lead to 17-1. Three-run doubles by Katz and by rightfielder Alex Edward sparked the uprising, along with a two-run homer by Jones.