Elijah MacNamee drove in a pair of runs, while Jordan Westburg collected three hits helping No. 8 Mississippi State to a 4-1 win over No. 14 ECU Tuesday afternoon at Dudy Noble Field. With the win the Bulldogs improve to 11-1 on the season and the Pirates fall to 8-5.
Mississippi State jumped out to an early 1-0 lead when MacNamee plated Jake Mangum from third, who reached on an infield single. Mangum took second on Westburg’s base hit back up the middle and third on a ground out before trotting home on MacNamee’s sac fly to center.
Gunner Halter’s RBI single plated Rowdey Jordan for a 2-0 lead in the fifth frame. Jordan walked to open the stanza, took second on a sac bunt and crossed home on Halter’s hit to right field.
ECU finally got on the board in the sixth inning thanks to Turner Brown’s RBI double that scored Christian Jayne making it a 2-1 ball game. Thomas Francisco drew an opening frame walk and then was replaced by Jayne as a pinch runner, who crossed home on Brown’s two-base hit to right center.
The Bulldogs scored a run in the home half of the sixth inning pushing their lead back to two, 3-1. MacNamee drew a walk to get things going then took second on a wild pitch and third on Justin Foscue’s ground out to second. Hayden Jones followed with a fielder’s choice sending a ball back up the middle where Brown was unable to make a play allowing MacNamee to touch home.
Mississippi State would cap the scoring at 4-1 with another run in the seventh coming on MacNamee’s RBI single that plated Westburg.
Keegan James (2-0) earned the win on the Bulldog staff day tossing two scoreless frames where he allowed one hit and struck out two. Cole Gordon notched his fourth save tossing a scoreless ninth where he registered four strikeouts. Also seeing action from Mississippi State out of the bullpen were Jack Eagan (1.0 IP, 1 H), Peyton Plumlee (3.0 IP, 1 R, 4 Ks), Trysten Barlow (1.0 IP, 1 H, 3 Ks) and Colby White (1.0 IP, 1 K).
Gavin Williams (1-1) took the loss despite holding the Bulldogs to two runs (both earned) on four hits with three walks and a pair of strikeouts in five innings. Trey Benton allowed one run (unearned) on two walks with one strikeout, while Evan Voliva gave up a run (earned) on two hits with a career-high six strikeouts in 2.1 innings.
ECU managed just four hits on the afternoon getting one each from Brown, Spencer Brickhouse, Lane Hoover and Bryant Packard. The Pirates, who got baserunners on in eight of nine frames, couldn’t capitalize on four Bulldog errors, five free passes and left 10 runners on base.
The Pirates will continue their Mississippi road trip on Wednesday, March 6 when they play at No. 12 Ole Miss. First pitch is slated for 4 p.m. (ET) at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze Field and will be streamed on the SECNetwork+.