STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State sparkled on the baseball diamond again Friday night. And that was no April Fool's joke.
Behind a four-hit gem from junior right-hander Dakota Hudson, No. 12 MSU opened its weekend Southeastern Conference series with a hard-earned 3-1 win versus in-state rival and 11th-ranked Ole Miss before a crowd of 10,152 at Dudy Noble Field. The crowd was the 37th time Dudy Noble had more than 10,000 in attendance.
Hudson (4-1) threw 113 pitches while recording his third straight quality start and fifth overall. He allowed four hits and struck out a career-high 11 with no walks. It was his first complete game and the team's second this season.
Ole Miss scored its lone run in the first inning and the run was unearned. Thus, Hudson now has a streak of 30.2 innings without allowing an earned run.
"Dakota really got us started on the right note," MSU head coach John Cohen said. "We caught some breaks but pitching wise we were excellent and made the plays behind the pitcher as well. It's huge when you can win the first game in a series and not use your bullpen guys in the process."
With the win, MSU improved to 19-7-1 overall and 5-2 in league play. Ole Miss fell to 20-6 and 2-5. The Bulldogs won a conference series opener for a third straight weekend while moving into first place in the Western Division standings. The Rebels dropped their fourth straight.
The Rebels scored on a J.B. Woodman base hit in the first inning. However, the Rebels' hopes for more were snuffed a pair of base running mistakes in that at-bat.
The Bulldogs tied the contest in their half of the first inning when Jake Mangum singled, took second base on a fly out and scored on an RBI-single by Reid Humphreys.
After the first-inning struggle, Hudson found a groove and retired 10 straight batters.
The Bulldogs followed a similar pattern to score in the sixth inning. Mangum singled, stole second base and scored on a base hit by Humphreys.
In the eighth inning, Jacob Robson reached on a throwing error and then scored from first on a failed pickoff throw.
MSU finished with six hits, including Humphreys' third three-hit game of the season. Mangum had his fourth multiple-hit game.
Brady Bramlett (4-2) was lifted in the sixth inning and took the loss for Ole Miss.
The series resumes at 2 p.m. Saturday. MSU is scheduled to throw junior right-hander Austin Sexton (2-1, 3.72 ERA), while Ole Miss is scheduled to throw junior right-hander Chad Smith (2-2, 4.80 ERA). The series concludes with a 1:30 p.m. start Sunday. Both games will be available nationally on SEC Network +.