LSU romps over Miss. State, 17-4

Published 12:05 am Monday, April 7, 2014

BATON ROUGE — Ninth-ranked LSU erupted for 17 runs on 20 hits Sunday as the Tigers complete a three-game SEC series sweep of Mississippi State with a 17-4 victory at Alex Box Stadium.

The Tigers return to action at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday to face Lamar.

LSU improved to 24-8-1 overall and 6-5-1 in SEC play, while Mississippi State dropped to 20-13 and 6-6. The Tigers are just 1.5 games behind first-place Alabama in the overall SEC race.

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The 17 runs on Sunday marked the most for LSU in an SEC game since the Tigers scored 18 runs against Florida on May 4, 2013, in Baton Rouge. LSU collected 20 hits Sunday, marking the most hits in a league game for the Tigers since they had 23 at Mississippi State on May 16, 2009.

Freshman right-hander Parker Bugg (1-1), the second of five Tiger pitchers, earned the win for LSU after working 1.2 innings and allowing one run on one hit with three strikeouts. Mississippi State starting pitcher, Dakota Hudson (1-2), was charged the loss. Hudson worked 2.2 innings, giving up six hits, six runs and three walks.

“I’m extremely proud of our players for earning this win today,” said LSU head coach Paul Mainieri. “It was a huge win for us because it gets us back above .500 in the league and puts us within striking distance of first place. Once we won the first two games this weekend, I knew it was important for us to play well today and our players certainly responded to the challenge.”

LSU starting pitcher Kyle Bouman, in his first start since March 15 at Vanderbilt due to an ankle injury, worked the first 3.1 innings of the contest, limiting the Bulldogs to one run on five hits with one walk and four strikeouts.

“Things are bunched in our league and it is going to be a wild race to the end,” MSU head coach John Cohen said. “Quite simply, things did not happen for us this weekend. We had some hard-hit balls. We couldn’t turn those into runs. On the mound today, we couldn’t contain them. That has not happened very often this season.”

LSU quickly built a 7-0 lead with two runs in the first and second innings and three scores in the third inning. The Bulldogs crawled back into the contest with single scores in the fourth and fifth innings.

MSU faces Southern Mississippi at 6:35 p.m. Tuesday at Trustmark Park in Pearl. Southeastern Conference play resumes next weekend when Ole Miss comes to Dudy Noble Field for a Super Bulldog Weekend three-game series. The Bulldogs and Rebels meet at 6:30 p.m. Friday, 3 p.m. Saturday (Fox Sports Net South) and 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

“It’s a very big week ahead for our club,” Cohen said. “It is always fun to play in Pearl and we need a big Maroon and White crowd down there supporting us. Then of course the weekend means Ole Miss and we look forward to having the best atmosphere in all of college baseball for that weekend series.”