FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Mississippi State tied a season high with 17 hits en route to a 10-2 win over Arkansas Sunday in the final game of a three-game Southeastern Conference series at Baum Stadium.
The win gave the Bulldogs (16-10, 7-5 SEC) a series victory over the Razorbacks (16-17, 3-9 SEC), who lost for the sixth time in their last seven league games. UA won Friday’s series opener, 6-5; MSU won Saturday’s game, 9-3.
State did all its scoring in the fourth and sixth innings, sending 12 batters to the plate in a four-run fourth inning and nine to the plate in a six-run sixth. Arkansas managed just seven hits while striking out a season-high 14 times. The 14 strikeouts were also a season high for MSU pitchers.
Mississippi State starter Tanner Brock (4-1) yielded all seven UA hits while striking out six in 5 2/3 innings for the win. MSU relievers Joey Collums and Jonathan Papelbon combined to retire the last 10 Razorback batters in order. Collums struck out five in 2 1/3 innings; Papelbon struck out the side in the ninth, his only inning of work.
UA starter Scott Roehl (2-3) allowed three runs on seven hits and failed to record an out in the fourth inning. The second of four Razorback relievers, Josh Merryman allowed five runs on five hits in two innings.
Josh West, Jon Knott and Matthew Brinson – the Nos. 4, 5 and 6 batters in the MSU order – had consecutive hits in the second, fourth and sixth innings. West and Knott hit back-to-back triples in the second to score State’s first run. Brinson followed with a single to score Knott and scored when UA’s Layne Berry walked Steve Gendron with the bases loaded. Gendron scored on a wild pitch by Merryman for a 4-0 Bulldog lead.
Brian Kirby led off the bottom of the fourth with a double, UA’s only extra-base hit of the game. Kirby scored on Michael Conner’s single for the Hogs’ first run.
Mississippi State put the game out of reach in the sixth inning with six runs on five-consecutive hits, including West’s two-run double off Hog reliever Wes McCrotty.
Nick Pitts’ RBI single in the bottom of the sixth inning scored Conner for the Razorbacks’ final run.
Arkansas will travel to Springfield, Mo., to face Southwest Missouri State at 6:30 p.m. CT and will host SEC Western Division leader Ole Miss in a three-game league series at Baum Stadium beginning Friday. MSU will host UAB Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. CT and Troy State Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. before traveling to Knoxville, Tenn., for a three-game SEC series against Eastern Division-leading Tennessee beginning Friday.