Bulldogs blank LSU to take series

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Sophomore Alan Johnson tossed a complete-game four-hit shutout Saturday to lead Mississippi State to a 5-0 series-clinching win over LSU at Dudy Noble Field.<br><br>The win nailed down the Bulldogs' first series win since a three-game sweep at Mississippi in late March.

Johnson (5-2) allowed one extra-base hit, a two-out, sixth-inning double by center fielder J.C. Holt. Holt was also the lone Tiger base runner to reach third base, opening the third inning with a single, stealing second, and advancing to third on an infield groundout. But no Tiger reached home, marking the fourth Bulldog shutout this season.

Mississippi State right fielder Brad Corley walked to open the second inning and scored the game's first run on J.B. Tucker's double into the left field corner. State struck for another run off LSU starter Bo Pettit (7-2) in the fifth. Thomas Berkery singled up the middle and Matthew Maniscalco followed with a double to right-center field.

The Bulldogs chased Pettit from the game an inning later when the the first five hitters reached safely. Corley opened the inning with a double, Robby Goodson followed with a single to center field, and Tucker blooped another single to center field, scoring Corley.

Jon Mungle walked, finishing Pettit's stint on the mound. Billy Sadler followed Pettit on the hill, and Berkery greeted him with a sharply-hit two-run single to left. Sadler retired the next three Bulldogs to end the inning, but not before State had expanded its lead to 5-0.

Tucker, Maniscalco and Berkery all had two hits each as MSU out-hit LSU 9-4. Holt and Ivan Naccarata had two hits each for the Tigers, who have now dropped five of their last six games to Mississippi State.

Johnson, who went the distance and tossed a two-hit complete-game shutout at in-state rival Ole MIss on March 29, held LSU to its lowest hit total this season and retired 11 of the last 12 batters he faced in LSU's first regular-season shutout since 1998.

Pettit gave up five runs on seven hits, walked three and struck out six in five innings of mound duty. Billy Sadler and Jason Determann combined to shut the Bulldogs out the rest of the way.

Mississippi State (33-12-1) and LSU (31-16-1)close out their three-game series Sunday at 1:30 p.m., with the Bulldogs taking aim on their first series sweep of LSU since 1985. MSU sophomore lefty Todd Nicholas (4-2, 3.22) will be matched with LSU junior right-hander Nate Bumstead (7-1, 3.90).

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