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The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Diamond Dogs tied for 1st place in SEC West

Jacob Follin

Senior infielder John Holland turns a double play during the Bulldogs’ weekend home series against the Georgia Bulldogs.

After two weekends of conference play, the No. 15 Mississippi State Bulldogs are tied for first place in the Southeastern Conference  West standings with Texas A&M University and the University of Alabama. The Diamond Dogs currently stand at 4-2 in the SEC West play. 

One week after taking two out of three games from Vanderbilt, MSU hosted the University of Georgia for a three-game series. MSU quickly took game one and two from Georgia, winning the series before dropping game three to the Bulldogs from Georgia.

In game one, Nathaniel Lowe gave MSU the lead before UGA tied it up in the fourth 1-1. After that, Mississippi State put up seven runs in the fourth inning to break it open. Reid Humphreys led the scoring rampage with a solo home run. He hit another home run in the seventh inning to give him his second career multi-home run game. 

While Humphreys was the offensive star for MSU, Dakota Hudson shined once again on the mound. After being named SEC pitcher of the week and National Player of the Week, Hudson toed the rubber and delivered a seven inning performance allowing only eight hits and one run that was unearned. 

“I’m just going out and competing. I have some good defense behind me so I’ve really just been able to settle in with my stuff just knowing they have my back,” Hudson said. “I feel like every game I’ve been out there so far I’ve had some really great plays behind me so it makes me comfortable on the mound.”

In game two of the series, Georgia struck first and was no hitting Mississippi State until Georgia’s starting pitcher came out and UGA brought the bullpen in. MSU instantly took advantage of that, breaking up the no-hitter and scoring the tying and go ahead runs before holding on for a 3-1 victory.

Austin Sexton pitched a solid six innings allowing one run and Ryan Rigby came in and pitched the final three innings while also picking up the win for MSU. Lowe was one of the five bulldogs to tally a hit with his game winning single in the seventh inning.

In game three, both teams went back and forth until Georgia tied the game in the sixth inning and eventually scored three runs in both the eighth and the ninth inning to take a 11-8 victory of MSU to salvage a win in the series.

MSU went through numerous pitchers, and Keegan James showed while  the most poise, throughout not allowing any runs.  Jacob Robson led the offensive surge with four hits while Lowe and Elih Marrero each tallied up two hits themselves.

Mississippi State has won each of its first two SEC series this season after only winning one series all of last season, and Robson said  the team feels they are showing who they are early in the season.

“It was huge (winning the first two series),” Team Captain Robson said. “We keep grinding out the opponent and last year we would get down in the dugout after a bad inning,  but this year we are eager to keep punching and keep scoring runs and I think we showed that today.”

After these first two series, Hudson and Humphreys seem to be leading the surge as Hudson has pitched 16 scoreless innings in SEC play and has pitched his last 21.2 innings not allowing an earned run while Humphreys is hitting .333 and has three home runs in six games in the SEC. 

“I just feel good but a lot of these guys have been behind me this whole year and I really appreciate them,” Humphreys said. “I’m blessed.” 

The team is sitting at a good position right now being tied for first in the SEC West and hosting Ole Miss in their next SEC series. For the most part, the pitching has been fantastic besides a few bloopers in the bullpen and they have been scoring plenty against SEC foes.

The Bulldogs will travel to Pearl to play at Trustmark Park against a very good Southern Miss team this Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. 

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Diamond Dogs tied for 1st place in SEC West