Former Centreville Academy star pitches South Alabama past Mississippi State, 6-3

Published 12:09 am Saturday, June 3, 2017

Former Centreville Academy standout Randy Bell threw a six-hitter to help South Alabama beat Mississippi State 6-3 on Friday night in the Hattiesburg Regional.

“We are super excited for the win. Winning the first one is huge,” Bell said. “It’s definitely a good feeling.”

Bell (7-3) threw 132 pitches and retired the Bulldogs in order in the fourth, fifth, seventh and eighth innings.

Email newsletter signup

“Going a complete game was exciting. I didn’t expect to go the whole game just because I knew how good Mississippi State is,” Bell said. “I wanted to go as deep as I could, though. It really helps us to not have to use the rest of the bullpen.”

Dylan Hardy hit a homer on the first pitch of the game and South Alabama added two more runs in the first on RBIs from Swaggerty and Drew LaBounty. The Jaguars scored three more in the fifth on Swaggerty’s opposite-field home run for a 6-1 lead. It was Swaggerty’s 11th homer of the season.

“(The home run) was a big statement right there,” Bell said. “Knowing we were going to score more (runs), too, was definitely a weight off my shoulders.”

Cody Brown tripled in a run in the sixth for Mississippi State (36-25) and later scored. Bulldogs starter Cole Gordon (2-3) walked five in two innings.

South Alabama will advance to the winner’s bracket and will face Southern Miss at 6 p.m. today, while MSU will take on Chicago-Illinois at 1 p.m. today.

“We are focused on going out there and playing a good game,” Bell said. “We are sitting in the driver seat now. It’s a lot of big time energy.”

USA coach Mark Calvi said his team still has a lot of baseball left to play.

“The tournament isn’t over,” USA coach Mark Calvi said. “There are so many very, very good teams in this thing. I’m excited about our win tonight. I’m excited for my players mainly. I’m so happy for this group because of the effort they have given all year long.”

The Associated Press and Southern Miss Athletics contributed to this report.