Collums, who matched his previous career-high strikeouts with his seventh in the fourth inning, three-hit the Gamecocks over seven innings. JSU scored its lone run in the seventh when Scott Smith struck out but reached on a wild pitch and scored three batters later on John McCarley's sacrifice fly to right field.
Redshirt freshman DH Jon Mungle laced a two-out double in the first inning to plate a pair of runs and give Collums a 2-0 lead. "We got it all started with a two-out walk," said Polk. "Brinson gets on base with a two-out walk. Then things seemed to steam-roll. Thankfully, we were on the strong end of a two-out walk this particular day."
Senior Casey Long, who batted .262 last season in 61 plate appearances, went 2-for-3 with an RBI and is now leading the ballclub with a .500 average.
"Casey will get some leg hits," said Polk. "He got one today on a bang-bang call at first base. A lot of people are going to wonder what I am doing batting him in the nine spot. He is somewhat of an extra leadoff guy but he doesn't have really good bat discipline. Although he has four walks this year, he had none last year. Casey has done a good job for us."
Casey was not the only Bulldog hitter to have a productive day. Sophomore Steve Gendron went 3-for-5 with 2 RBIs. Gendron lashed a two-out single to score the first of two Bulldog runs in the third and added another two-out, run-scoring single in the fourth to extend the MSU lead to 5-0. He now has 10 RBIs on the season.
Sophomore Jonathan Papelbon, who looks to be in line for the closer job, followed Collums on the mound in the eighth inning, striking out five of the six batters he faced. Papelbon has now struck out 16 batters and walked no one in 8 innings of work.
The two Mississippi State pitchers struck out a total of 20 batters during the nine-inning affair.
JSU starter Jeremy Hudson (1-1), the first of three Gamecock pitchers in the game, took the loss, giving up four runs before leaving the game in the third inning.
The Bulldogs next face Jackson State in a 4 p.m. game at Dudy Noble Field this Wednesday. "I talked to our pitching coach prior to the game about Wednesday's game," said Polk. "We will probably end up pitching five or six guys guys. We've got some guys who just need the work."
Mississippi State meets Loyola Marymount, a team located in Los Angeles, in baseball for the first time March 8-10 in a three-game weekend series in Starkville. The series-opener is set for 4 p.m. Friday.
MSU 5, JACKSONVILLE STATE 1
JSU 000 000 100 --- 1-3-2
MSU 202 100 00x --- 5-10-1
WP ---.Joey Collums (1-0). LP --- Jeremy Hudson (1-1). HR - None. TIME - 2:50 ATTENDANCE - 598 (actual), 5,823 (paid).