STARKVILLE, Miss. - After an afternoon full of thunder and lightning in the Golden Triangle, the Mississippi State baseball team found more lightning in their bats Saturday night.
MSU clinched its weekend Southeastern Conference series with Tennessee by pounding out a season-high 20 hits and scoring a season-high 14 runs in a 14-4 win at Dudy Noble Field.
The Bulldogs took the series opener Friday night by scoring three times in the seventh inning for a 5-4 victory. Saturday's contest was delayed six hours by rain and was not nearly as dramatic with the Bulldogs scoring in their first four at-bats to quickly build a 13-0 lead.
"I'm really proud of the guys because it was a long day waiting out the rain delay," head coach Andy Cannizaro said. "Our guys were on time and ready to hit. Everybody contributed. We also got some great pitching."
MSU improved to 14-10 overall and 2-3 in league play, while Tennessee fell to 13-7 and 0-5.
The Bulldogs got 11 hits from the top three spots in the lineup. MSU had eight hits with runners in scoring position and eight hits with two outs.
Jake Mangum led the hit parade with four hits and a career-best five RBIs. Ryan Gridley also had four hits. Brent Rooker had three hits and two RBIs. Josh Lovelady had two hits and three RBIs. Tanner Poole and Harrison Bragg each added two hits.
"Our top of the order is really bringing it right now," Cannizaro said. "We talk all the time about having quality at-bats. We are beginning to do that one through nine. Really proud that we were able to bounce back and win a series after a tough weekend in Arkansas."
The Bulldogs picked up a run in the first inning on a sacrifice fly by Cody Brown. In the second inning, Mangum had a two-run double and Rooker connected for a two-run home run - his seventh of the season.
A five-run third inning featured a two-RBI sacrifice fly by Mangum. Lovelady and Bragg each had RBI-singles, while Rooker tripled and later scored on a balk.
Lovelady had a two-run single in the fourth inning, while Mangum had an RBI-single. The final Bulldog run came in the seventh inning on an RBI-single by Hunter Vansau.
Peyton Plumlee (3-1) threw six innings, allowing five hits and one unearned run, with six strikeouts and a walk. Trey Jolly and Ryan Rigby also pitched.
Tennessee finished with nine hits. Andre Lipcius and Pete Derkay each had two hits for the Volunteers.
The series will conclude as State goes for the sweep on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. CT from Dudy Noble. The contest will air in its entirety on SEC Network+, which is available through WatchESPN.com and the Watch ESPN app.