The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Diamond Dawgs sweep Auburn in rainy Super Bulldog Weekend

Mike Mattina | Mississippi State Athletics

Despite the thunderstorms that made their way through Starkville during this year’s Super Bulldog Weekend, Mississippi State University baseball emerged with their victory brooms in hand.

The Bulldogs swept the Auburn Tigers on Friday and in a doubleheader on Sunday, marking the first series sweep for the Bulldogs in SEC play since 2021.

The series began with an 8-1 victory over the Tigers on Friday night. Junior outfielder Bryce Chance went 2-for-4, including a solo home run in the fourth inning, while freshman infielder Ethan Pulliam had an impressive game, going 3-for-2 at bat with a run.

Meanwhile, junior starting pitcher Khal Stephen struck out 11 batters while only allowing six hits and one run across seven innings of work.

Game 2 was postponed due to thunderstorms that swept over Starkville skies on Saturday evening. Instead, the Bulldogs and Tigers played a doubleheader on Sunday, with both games lasting seven innings per SEC rules.

In the first game, the Tigers kept it close, but an RBI single from junior infielder Hunter Hines propelled the Bulldogs to a 3-1 victory to kick off Sunday’s doubleheader.

Sophomore ambidextrous pitcher Jurrangelo Cijntje started for the Bulldogs, lasting almost the entire game. He allowed three hits and one run while striking out five batters en route to his sixth victory of the season.

In the following game, the Bulldogs took an early 1-0 lead. But, in the fourth inning the Tigers loaded the bases, and Auburn redshirt junior infielder Cooper McMurray put them ahead with an RBI, followed by a fielder’s choice to make it a 3-1 Auburn lead.

After a brief offensive stall, senior infielder Logan Kohler hit a double into right-center field, allowing Chance and Connor Hujsak to score, tying the game 3-3. The game went into one extra inning after the Bulldogs failed to score again.

Hujsak, who has struggled at the plate this season, secured the sweep for the Bulldogs with an RBI single, ending the game in a 4-3 win across eight innings.

“He said, ‘I want to hit,'” head coach Chris Lemonis said about Hujsak’s ambition to step up to the plate. “I was excited to hear him say he wants to hit…. he is feeling good about himself.”

“Getting the sweep was what we wanted all day,” Hujsak said. “We didn’t want to leave here just winning the series. [Lemonis] preaching that all day was significant.”

Following the sweep, the Bulldogs now hold a 26-14 overall record, including 10-8 in SEC play. They have already matched their entire win total from the 2022 season and are just one win away from matching their win total from 2023. However, there is still a lot of work left to be done.

“They’re tough. Our journey has not been easy,” Lemonis said. “Sometimes when you go through that and watch teams grow, I’m hoping today helps us grow again. We’ve got a good group that can do some special things. We’re kind of waiting on a couple of guys to join the party. If they start playing a little bit better, we can be a team to reckon with.”

Up next in conference play, Mississippi State will travel to Nashville, Tennessee, to play Vanderbilt at Charles Hawkins Field in a three-game series starting this Friday. All three games will be aired on SEC Network+.

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.
Leave a Comment
Donate to The Reflector

Your donation will support the student journalists of Mississippi State University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Reflector

Comments (0)

All The Reflector Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *