Mississippi State catcher Dustin Skelton had four hits in Sunday’s game against Auburn at Dudy Noble Field. Photo by: Trevor Birchett / Mississippi State Athletics
March 25, 2019 10:45:52 AM
By Amber Dodd
Special to the Dispatch
Second-ranked Mississippi State won their weekend series against Auburn on Sunday at Dudy Noble Field, capturing a wild 20-15 victory over No. 16 Auburn.
"They came in and went to work," MSU coach Chris Lemonis said. "They just stayed engaged. Sometimes you'll see teams back off, but our team doesn't have that about us."
With 35 runs combined, it was the highest-scoring game in the Southeastern Conference since April 19, 2009, when the Bulldogs dropped a game against Alabama, 17-16, but the winning narrative takes this rubber match to bigger heights. The game took four hours and 11 minutes to complete, and included 42 hits and five errors.
"It was all up and down our lineup," Lemonis said. "That whole group has played a lot so they were very engaged all game long. They just kept playing."
One through nine, MSU's entire lineup contributed to the game offensively. Rowdey Jordan and Dustin Skelton made the most of the untamed game. The two combined for 9 RBIs, 7 hits and 6 runs.
"We were positive," Jordan said. "Even when we went down, we knew there was a lot of baseball left and it was a positive vibe."
Auburn scored seven runs in the fourth inning, but the Bulldogs scored in every inning, including a big five-run eighth inning to close out the game.
"That really speaks volume that we all can hit," said Jordan, who drove in four runs and scored twice. "When you're putting up runs every single inning, we're a really good offense and good approach. We've have good success this year."
The bullpen's depth of six pitchers contributed to the win. Right-hander Keegan James and left-hander Cole Gordan led the Bulldogs, both pitching three innings. Both pitchers had three strikeouts apiece while Cole only allowed four hits and three runs.
The Diamond Dawgs are now 21-3 overall and 4-2 at the beginning of SEC play. They'll return to Dudy Noble on Tuesday night to take on Mississippi Valley State.
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