Gene Swindoll, Gene's Page

Seven extra-base hits lift No. 6 MSU past Georgia in series opener

ATHENS, Ga. – No. 6 Mississippi State used the long ball to win the opening game of a Southeastern Conference baseball series Friday afternoon. Brent Rooker hit a three-run home run and Elijah MacNamee hit a two-run home run. Konnor Pilkington took things from there on the mound as MSU beat Georgia 9-3 at Foley Field.

MSU maintained first place in the overall conference standings with five league games remaining. MSU is now 33-17 overall and 17-8 in league play, while Georgia is 20-30 and 7-18.

“This was a big-time win for us,” head coach Andy Cannizaro said. “Our guys came out ready to play. Sometimes, it is hard when you play a day game on a Friday. It doesn’t have the electric feel of a Friday night game in this league, but Konnor was outstanding on the mound and we had some timely hits.”

Pilkington (6-4) threw eight innings, allowing four hits and no runs, with seven strikeouts and four walks. After allowing hits in the first and second innings, Pilkington did not allow another hit until the eighth inning when back-to-back hits broke up a string of 13 straight retired batters.

Brant Blaylock was touched for three runs while only getting an out in the ninth inning. Jacob Barton finished the contest for the Bulldogs.

Offensively, MSU pounded out 13 hits and played errorless ball. Jake Mangum had three hits, while Rooker and Cody Brown each had two hits.

The Maroon and White would get the offense started in the third inning when Hunter Stovall celebrated his return to the field with an bunt single and Mangum also had a hit. Rooker followed with his 20th home run of the season.

The lead grew to 5-0 in the sixth inning when MacNamee hit his second home run of the year.

In the seventh inning, Cody Brown tripled to scored Rooker and Ryan Gridley, both of whom were hit by pitches. Brown then scored on a wild pitch. MSU’s final run came on a Hunter Vansau pinch-hit single in the ninth inning.

Georgia finished with seven hits. Keegan McGovern and Tucker Bradley each had two hits. Andrew Gist (2-4) took the loss.

State and Georgia will retake the field on Saturday for a 3 p.m. CT first pitch on SEC Network. Single-game tickets for the weekend are still available and are available for purchase through Georgia’s website, or at the ticket office on game day.


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