ARLINGTON, Texas - Baseball blue bloods matched up in the opening game of the 2021 State Farm College Baseball Showdown, as the No. 8 Mississippi State baseball program toppled No. 12 Texas, 8-3, behind a dominate performance on the mound and timely hitting inside Globe Life Field.
The victory pushes Mississippi State to 1-0 on the season and continues a recent trend of success against top 25 teams in the regular season. The Dawgs are 12-1 against top 25 opponents in the last 13 regular season matchups, which includes a 6-0 mark against top 10 teams. The victory over the Longhorns is State's seventh straight top 25 win in the regular season.
The pitching staff set the tone for MSU, as starting pitcher Christian MacLeod (ND) logged 4.0 innings and allowed one run on four hits. The left-hander stuck out seven and didn't walk a batter. The home run was the only blemish on his outing, as he handed off to Landon Sims (1-1) with the bases loaded in the fifth inning and no outs.
Sims came on and struck out the side to limit the damage and went on to retire all 12 batters he faced in four innings. Ten of his 12 outs came via strikeout, with a ground ball in the sixth and a flyout in the eighth his other two outs.
Adding Riley Self's one strikeout in the ninth and Mississippi State tied for its most strikeouts in a single game since Feb. 19, 2012 against Washington State (19). State last struck out 18 batters in a game on February 26, 2020 against Alcorn State.
At the plate, Luke Hancock opened the season with a 3-for-4 showing at the plate. The Houston, Mississippi, native hit his first career home run in the fourth inning, drove in one RBI in the fifth inning and singled again in the seventh. He scored twice, plated two RBIs and walked once.
Hancock led eight Bulldogs with hits and three with multiple hits. Rowdey Jordan plated one RBI in the sixth inning before he homered in the eighth. Josh Hatcher extended his hitting streak to eight games with an RBI double in the eighth inning. Landon Jordan reached base three times, drove in a run and scored once.
For Texas, Ty Madden (0-1) took the loss with four runs - three earned - allowed in four innings of work. He struck out five, walked three and four hits allowed. At the plate, Ivan Melendez homered and doubled to drive in two runs.
A two-out walk to Luke Hancock from UT starting pitcher Ty Madden got a rally started for MSU, as three straight hits followed to push State out to an early lead. After the Hancock walk, Scotty Dubrule put runners at first and second with a base hit. Landon Jordan plated the first run of the inning with a single up the middle and Drew McGowan followed with an RBI base hit of his own.
Mississippi State 2, Texas 0
A one-out home run from Hancock got the scoring started in the fourth, before back-to-back walked were issued by Madden. A throwing error by the Longhorn shortstop allowed Dubrule to score.
Mississippi State 4, Texas 0
Tanner Allen started the inning with a single and moved to second on a passed ball before UT reliever Pete Hansen retired the next two batters. Hancock drove in his second RBI of the afternoon with a base hit up the middle to plate the fifth run for MSU.
Mississippi State 5, Texas 0
Ivan Melendez got Texas on the scoreboard with a solo home run to lead off the fifth inning against Christian MacLeod. A double from Cam Williams followed and Silas Ardoin singled to put two runners on with no outs, before Murphy Stehly single to load the bases. Landon Sims entered and struck out three straight batters to hold the Longhorns to just one run in the frame.
Mississippi State 5, Texas 1
Landon Jordan walked before McGowan singled to put runners on first and third with no outs. Rowdey Jordan brought home the run on a fielder's choice.
Mississippi State 6, Texas 1
Rowdey Jordan homered with one out in the inning, before Tanner Allen singled with two outs and came around to score on a Josh Hatcher double down the right field line.
Mississippi State 8, Texas 1
The Longhorns got two runs back in the ninth against Riley Self, as Zach Zubia singled to start things and Melendez doubled to bring him around to score. With one out, Ardoin singled to score Melendez, before Spencer Price came on to retire the final two batters of the game.
Mississippi State 8, Texas 3
Mississippi State will play its second game of its season-opening weekend at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas at 11 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 21 against No. 13 TCU.