Hancock's hitting propels MS State to win vs. Samford
STARKVILLE - Will Bednar struck out eight and Luke Hancock drove in three RBIs to help the No. 3 Mississippi State baseball program to a victory in the opening game of the NCAA Starkville Regional at Dudy Noble Field.
Number seven national seed Mississippi State ran its winning streak in NCAA Regional games to eight straight games dating back to the 2018 Tallahassee Regional. State has also won six straight home tournament games.
The No. 7 national seeded Bulldogs fell behind early in a leadoff home run by Samford (35-23) started the game to stake the visitors to a 1-0 lead. A single run in the first, three in the second and one in the fourth bolstered Mississippi State (41-15) to a 5-1 edge, before two runs in the fifth pulled Samford within two, 5-3. The Diamond Dawgs added one more in the sixth and two in the seventh, before an eighth-inning solo home run by Samford capped the scoring.
Bednar (7-1) did not let the leadoff home run set the tone, as he retired 12 of the next 13 batters to cruise into the fifth inning. In all, the right-hander fanned eight batters in seven innings of work to earn his seventh win of the season to just one loss. He allowed three runs - two earned - on six hits and walked only one batter.
The offense was able to manufacture eight runs on 11 hits and took advantage of the one Samford error. Four Diamond Dawgs produced multi-hit games, led by three-hit games from Rowdey Jordan and Hancock. Tanner Allen and Kellum Clark each chipped in two hits.
For Allen, he produced his 26th multi-hit game of the season and extended his hitting streak to 19 games with the 2-for-4 day. His reached base streak reached 22 games and he added one run scored and one RBI. Hancock produced his 15th multi-RBI game of the year.