STARKVILLE, Miss. — Mississippi State overcame a 6-0 deficit to top the Columbia baseball team, 11-8, to wrap up a four-game swing at Dudy Noble Field. Ben Porter led the offense with a 4-for-6 performance, with two doubles and two runs scored.
The Lions (0-7) showed no signs of fatigue after finishing up last night’s game with South Alabama around 10 p.m. ET, taking a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. Julian Bury started things off with a walk and Ben Porter ripped a double down the leftfield line. Mississippi State conceded the first run, playing the infield back, on a groundout before Kyle Bartelman delivered an RBI single up the middle for an insurance run.
In the third, the Lions’ bats broke through and sent 10 batters to the plate to extend the margin to 6-0. Porter reached on an infield single and Kanemaru blasted his second homer in as many games to give Columbia some breathing room. The Lions loaded the bases with one out thanks to an infield hit by AJ DiFillipo and a pair of walks and manufactured a run with a fielder’s choice, which was close to being a base-hit, but was gloved on a diving effort by the Bulldogs’ shortstop moving behind the bag at second. With runners on the corners, Columbia ran a double steal to cap the four-run frame. However, the Bulldogs (x-x) evened the score with just one hit in the bottom of the inning.
A hit batter and two walks loaded the bases for Brent Rooker, who cleared the bases with a double to center. With two outs, the Lions’ pitching staff issued five consecutive base on balls to allow Mississippi State back into the game.
The teams traded runs in the fourth and fifth innings. In the fourth, with Columbia scoring on a sacrifice fly from Liam McGill and the Bulldogs knotting the score, 7-7, on a solo blast by Ryan Gridley. The next inning, Kanemaru picked up another RBI with a bases loaded walk, but Tanner Poole took a 3-2 pitch out of the park, tying things up 8-8.
Mississippi State took its first lead of the game in the sixth after Rooker came through with a two-run shot, giving the Bulldogs a two-run advantage. The Lions stranded the bases loaded for the third time in the game in the seventh and Rooker picked up his sixth run batted in on a sacrifice fly to extend the lead to 11-8.
Jordan Chriss (0-1) was the pitcher of record, allowing four runs on six hits in two innings of relief. Kanemaru is now riding an eight-game hitting streak that dates back to the final game of the 2016 campaign.
Gridley finished up 3-for-3 and scored three runs for the Bulldogs. Cole Gordon picked up the win out of the bullpen, but allowed two runs on three hits in his 3.1 innings of work. Trey Jolly earned a nine-out save and struck out five.
Columbia is back in action tomorrow, March 14, at Southern Miss to begin a two-day stint in Hattiesburg. First pitch is slated for 7 p.m. ET.