STARKVILLE, Miss. - Back in first place.
No. 25 Mississippi State won its third straight Southeastern Conference baseball series by taking a 10-6 victory against No. 10 Kentucky in the final game of Super Bulldog Weekend played before a crowd of 8,082 at Dudy Noble Field on Sunday.
With the win, MSU moves into a three-way tie with Auburn and Arkansas for first place in the Western Division standings. Kentucky is in sole possession of first place in the Eastern Division. All four teams are 8-4 in league play.
The Bulldogs (22-12) battled back from a 5-2 defeat Friday night to take back-to-back 10-6 victories against the Wildcats (22-11). MSU has won eight of its last nine conference games.
"This was a phenomenal weekend," head coach Andy Cannizaro said. "I am proud at how well our kids battled. They just weren't going to take 'no' today. The atmosphere was great. The crowds were great. I am really proud at how hard we competed. Sunday is will over skill in this league. We showed great will and determination."
On this day, the Bulldogs had a lot of heroes.
Junior right-hander Trey Jolly (1-1) threw 5.1 innings of relief. Jolly allowed three hits and a run (earned), while also having streak of 12 straight retired batters. His relief stint proved huge as the Bulldogs rallied from a 4-1 deficit.
Jake Mangum was touched for seven hits and four runs (all earned) in a two-inning start. Trysten Barlow and Jacob Barton followed Jolly, while Spencer Price worked the Bulldogs out of a tight spot in the eighth inning and finished with three strikeouts for his 10th save.
"I really love how we are playing right now," Cannizaro said. "We are playing with a lot of confidence. The guys believe someone in the dugout is going to step up. On the mound, we have guys throwing with confidence. At the plate, we are having good at-bats and are really making the other team work. In this league, you never know when the run scored will be the game-winning run."
Offensively the Bulldogs followed 13 hits from Saturday with 14 hits on Sunday.
Elijah MacNamee led the way with three hits. Jake Mangum, Ryan Gridley, Cody Brown and Hunter Stovall each added multiple hits.
An RBI-single by Stovall brought the Bulldogs within 4-3 in the fourth inning. Mangum followed with a hit. An outfield error on that ball brought home the game-tying run.
The Bulldogs took the lead for good with three runs in the sixth inning, including a two-run triple by Mangum - his first triple of the season. The ball was thrown away on that play and Mangum scampered home.
Harrison Bragg then had the biggest hit of the game with a pinch-hit three-run home run in the seventh inning.
Kentucky received a two-run home run from Luke Becker. Tristan Pompey had four of the team's 13 hits. Zach Reks and Troy Squires each had multiple hits. Justin Lewis (4-2) pitched into the sixth inning and took the loss.
The Bulldogs hit .320 and collected 31 hits in the series. Brown had six hits, while Brent Rooker had five hits and three home runs.
MSU will return to Dudy Noble to close its six-game homestand in a midweek matchup against Mississippi Valley State on Tuesday. First pitch is set for 6:32 p.m. CT and the game will air live on SEC Network+ via WatchESPN.com and the Watch ESPN app.