Mississippi State won a sluggest 20-15 Sunday in the rubber game with Auburn.
The No. 2 Bulldogs slugged their way past No. 12 Auburn to win their first SEC home series of the season and their second in as many weeks.
Auburn native Rowdey Jordan entered the game batting .186, but MSU coach Chris Lemonis stuck with the sophomore left fielder and it paid off as Jordan went a combined 6-for-10 at the plate between Saturday and Sunday’s games.
“When kids struggle and then they come out of it, sometimes they come out of it with a bang,” Lemonis said. “Then you get a couple hits and it is fun to play the game and your talent is there. This is one of the best hitters in the country, and we feel that way about Rowdey.”
Jordan’s highlight came in the sixth inning when he hit a three-run double to give MSU a 13-12 lead. As he stood on second base, the chant “Rowdey, Rowdey, Rowdey” shut out all other noise as the 9,886 fans at Dudy Noble cheered him on.
“That was cool, it was real cool,” Jordan said. “Just awesome, just the atmosphere here, the fans, the stadium, it is all awesome.”
However, the job was not done. MSU gave up three runs in the next inning and fell behind once again. But just as they had earlier in the game, MSU stayed composed and walked out to the plate and tied the game going into the eighth.
In the eighth, MSU delivered a five-run outburst to pull away, thanks in large part to a three-run homer by catcher Dustin Skelton. His bomb finally gave MSU the breathing room it needed to finish out the game.
Skelton led the team with four hits, four runs and five RBIs.
The Bulldogs (22-3, 4-2 SEC) scored in every inning they batted in and every player in the line-up had a hit as well as an RBI. Eight of the nine players in the lineup had multiple hits with Jordan and Brad Cumbest registering three hits apiece.
The teams combined to use 13 pitchers — seven by Auburn (20-4, 4-2). MSU’s Cole Gordon improved to 3-0 despite giving up three runs in three innings.
The Bulldogs, who are in a three-way tie for second in the SEC at 4-2, face a quick turnaround as they play Mississippi Valley State on Tuesday and then start a three-game home series against No. 10 LSU on Thursday night.
LSU is also 4-2, along with Auburn. Arkansas and Texas A&M are tied atop the West at 5-2.