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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 Dawgs upset No. 2 LSU to begin SEC play

Brooks Surber
Jordan was named SEC Co-Player of the Week March 11.

Mississippi State University baseball made a dominating statement by winning two of three games against Louisiana State University over spring break weekend.

Going into the series, expectations were low for the MSU Bulldogs. The defending national champions LSU Tigers were coming into Starkville hot, ranked No. 2 in the nation.

However, for the first time since 2003, the Bulldogs secured a series victory over LSU in Starkville, helping to change the national narrative surrounding the team.

MSU won Game 1 by a score of 10-4 after the Bulldog offense finally found some rhythm as Hunter Hines blasted two home runs at the plate.

Freshman pitcher Nolan Stevens also shined on the mound, striking out eight batters while allowing just one run across 5 innings. His efforts helped earned him SEC Freshman of the Week following the series.

Game 2 saw the Bulldogs down 9-1 early in the game. However, they would go on to score seven unanswered runs to make it a one score game. Despite the offensive effort, they were not able to pull of the comeback and fell to the Tigers in Game 2, 9-8, Saturday night.

The Bulldogs clinched the series Sunday in Game 3, shocking the college baseball world by run ruling LSU by a score of 15-5 with Hines and Dakota Jordan hitting back-to-back home runs in the contest.

“Now I feel like their thought process is ‘who are you going to walk now,’” Jordan said about him and Hines facing the opposing pitching. “You’ve got to pitch to both of us.”

Pitcher Jurrengelo Cijntje also earned his fourth win as a starter, striking out six batters while allowing five hits and three runs across 5.0 innings of work.

With the series win, the Bulldogs are back in the national conversation, being ranked No. 21 in the most recent poll from D1Baseball, their first ranking since 2022. They also come out of the weekend with 15-6 overall record.

“Anytime you beat a program like LSU, that’s one of the standards in college baseball,” Bulldogs Head Coach Chris Lemonis said. “We feel like we’re one of the standards in college baseball, and when you get a chance to win a series over these guys, it means a lot. It means a lot to our kids in our clubhouse. I mean, some validation, too. Like I told them after the game, we’re good. You’ve got to believe it.”

Up next in SEC play, the Bulldogs travel to College Station to play Texas A&M in a three-game series beginning Friday in a battle of the maroons. The series will be broadcast on ESPNU.

About the Contributor
Colin James
Colin James, Staff Writer
Colin James is a senior communication major. Colin is currently a staff writer for The Reflector.
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