LSU gets 40th win, clinches Miss. St. series

LSU picked up its 40th win of the season Friday in an 11-4 victory against Mississippi State to clinch the series.

STARKVILLE, Miss. – Shortstop Alex Bregman and third baseman Conner Hale each drove in three runs Friday night to lead top-ranked LSU to an 11-4 win over Mississippi State at Dudy Noble Field.

LSU, which won its seventh SEC series in eight weekends, improved to 40-7 overall and 16-6 in the SEC. LSU has reached the 40-win mark seven times in coach Paul Mainieri’s nine seasons at the helm of the program.

The Tigers are tied with Vanderbilt for first place in the overall SEC standings, and LSU has a 1.5 game lead over Texas A&M in the SEC Western Division. LSU has won nine straight SEC road games and is 11-1 overall on the road this season. The Tigers’ only road loss came on March 19 at Arkansas.

Mississippi State dropped to 23-24 overall and 7-16 in the SEC with Friday’s loss.

The teams conclude the series at 3 p.m. CT Saturday in a game that will be televised by ESPN2. The game may be heard on affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network, and live audio and stats are available at www.LSUsports.net.

Bregman was 3-for-5 with two doubles and three RBI, while Hale added two singles and three RBI to pace the Tigers’ 17-hit attack.

“I’m really proud of our road record; winning nine straight SEC games on the road is a tremendous accomplishment,” said coach Paul Mainieri, who earned his 400th career LSU victory on Thursday night in the Tigers’ 5-3, 14-inning win over the Bulldogs. “Our team relishes the opportunity to play well in a road environment, and I liked the way we swung the bats tonight. We had production throughout the lineup as all nine starters had at least one hit, and six different players drove in at least one run. Hopefully, we can keep the momentum going and finish the weekend in a positive way in tomorrow’s game.”

LSU freshman right-hander Alex Lange (8-0) earned the win, allowing four runs on six hits with two walks and two strikeouts. Sophomore right-hander Hunter Newman earned his fourth save in his last four outings by working the final three innings, limiting the Bulldogs to no runs on two hits with two walks and three strikeouts.

Mississippi State starter Preston Brown (5-6) was charged with the loss as he surrendered two runs on six hits in 2.2 innings with one walk and two strikeouts.

Mississippi State took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when rightfielder Jake Vickerson walked, moved to third on designated hitter Luke Reynolds’ single and scored when first baseman Wes Rea grounded into a double play.

LSU scored two runs on four hits in the third, sending eight batters to the plate. Shortstop Alex Bregman produced an RBI groundout, and third baseman Conner Hale lined a run-scoring single.

The Tigers erupted for four runs on six hits in the fourth to extend their lead to 6-1. Bregman smashed an RBI double before Hale, catcher Kade Scivicque and centerfielder Andrew Stevenson each contributed run-scoring singles.

Mississippi State responded with three runs in the bottom of the fourth as leftfielder Reid Humphreys lined a two-run double and shortstop Ryan Gridley added an RBI groundout to narrow the gap to 6-4.

The Tigers plated a run in the sixth when Hale collected his third RBI of the game on a groundout to give the Tigers a 7-4 advantage.

LSU broke the contest open in the ninth, scoring four runs on four hits. Designated hitter Chris Sciambra slammed an RBI double, and Bregman and second baseman Jared Foster each produced run-scoring singles.


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