Bulldogs Belt Golden Eagles 19-2

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Steve Gendron went 4-for-6 and drove in a career-high five runs Tuesday night as Mississippi State opened a five-game road run with a lopsided 19-2 win at Southern Mississippi. It was the fifth win in the last six games for the Bulldogs (22-12-1), who close out their two-game set with the Golden Eagles (24-14) Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.

Gendron singled in a pair of runs in the first inning as State raced to a 3-0 lead off USM starter Stephen Castleman (2-2). The Bulldog right-fielder singled in another run in the three-run second inning, and doubled in two runs in a seven-run fifth inning burst when State sent 13 batters to the plate.

Bulldog starter Jacob Blakeney (2-2) blanked USM on two hits over the first five innings before giving up solo home runs to Allen Winningham in the sixth inning and Griff Israel in the seventh. It was the second consecutive win for Blakeney, who gave up five hits and struck out five in a strong seven-inning pitching performance. Former Hattiesburg High School standout Jeff Lacher struck out four in two innings of shutout relief work.

Matthew Maniscalco and Matthew Brinson had two hits each and drove in two runs apiece while Lee Parks delivered his first career home run, a three-run, pinch-hit blast in the eighth.

Castleman gave up four hits and allowed six runs in 1.1 innings. Brian Hurley, John Nicholas and Nick Tilbrook followed Castleman on the mound and combined for 10 strikeouts.

The game drew 4,175 to Pete Taylor Park, the fourth-largest baseball crowd in USM history.

MSU (22-12-1) 330 271 030 - 19-14-0
USM (23-14) 000 001 100 - 2-7-3
WP - Jacob Blakeney (2-2). LP - Stephen Castleman (2-2). HR - USM: Allen Winningham (7), Griff Israel (3); MSU: Lee Parks (1). T - 3:05. ATT - 4,175.

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