BILOXI – The No. 17 Mississippi State baseball program got a solid start from junior Houston Harding and two dazzling relief appearances from freshman Landon Sims and graduate Spencer Price in a 6-3 victory over No. 4 Texas Tech on Tuesday evening in front of a capacity crowd at MGM Park.
Texas Tech (16-2) opened the scoring with one unearned run in the third inning, before Mississippi State (11-4) tallied three in the fifth, two in the sixth and one in the seventh. The Red Raiders also added single runs in the. sixth and eighth innings.
It was the pitching that led the way for State, as four pitchers combined to allow just three runs on just three hits and three walks against the most potent offense in college baseball’s early season. A pair of errors also factored in, as two of the three TTU runs were unearned.
Harding (1-0) collected his first victory on the mound in the maroon and white with 5 2/3 innings of work and four strikeouts. He allowed two unearned runs on two hits. The left-hander didn’t walk a batter and retired the side in order in four of the six innings in which he pitched.
Six of the seven outs that Sims recorded came via the strikeout, with only an eighth inning walk coming in to score on a two-out base hit. Price recorded his first save since April 20, 2017 versus Alabama with a perfect ninth inning. He fanned two of the three hitters he faced, including the final batter of the game.
Juniors Jordan Westburg and Josh Hatcher each posted two-hit nights and drove in RBIs. Westburg doubled twice and junior Justin Foscue accounted for the only other extra base hit, a leadoff double in the eighth inning. Junior Rowdey Jordan scored a pair of runs in the game.
“We had some big hits," said MSU coach Chris Lemonis. "I'm really proud of the way our guys jumped on some balls and laid off some pitches and made [Texas Tech’s pitchers] work a little bit. Rowdey Jordan had a huge at-bat there in that big inning to keep [the fifth inning] going and so did Brandon Pimentel. [Pimentel] has struggled a little bit lately, but he had two huge at-bats tonight that helped us win that game."
Three Diamond Dawgs were playing close to home, as sophomores Brad Cumbest and Landon Jordan each reached base and scored a run, while freshman Logan Tanner had a base hit and one RBI in the contest.
For Texas Tech, starting pitcher Mason Montgomery (3-1) threw four innings and allowed three runs on four hits. He struck out five and walked two. At the plate, Cole Stilwell reached base twice and drove in one RBI, while Jace Jung plated a run with a bases loaded walk.
Mississippi State closes out its stay in Biloxi with a 5 p.m. first pitch against Texas Tech at MGM Park.