MSU fell to 13-10 with its fourth straight defeat. South Alabama improved to 9-13. For a second straight year, the teams split a two-game season series. Tuesday’s night contest looked nothing like the Bulldogs’ 5-1 win last month in Starkville.
South Alabama jumped on top quickly with a three-run home run from Adam Heisler in the first inning. MSU scored once in the second inning only to give up four more scores in the third inning.
Trailing 7-1, MSU batted 12 hitters in the fourth inning, plating six runs on five base hits. In that inning, Connor Powers started the scoring with a two-run double. Grant Hogue had an RBI-single, while Ryan Collins followed with hard hit ground ball out, forcing in a run. Luke Adkins and Jet Butler followed with back-to-back run-scoring singles to tie the game 7-7.
The lead was short-lived as the Jaguars struck right back for four scores in the home half of the fourth inning. An RBI-single by Heisler put the Jaguars on top for good, at 8-7. An RBI-single by Ryan Bohanan increased the lead. USA then tacked on two more runs, thanks to a throwing error and a balk call.
In the seventh inning, the Jaguars scored four more times to remove any doubt in the contest. Catcher David Doss hit a three-run home run to punctuate that at-bat. USA added two more scores in the eighth inning.
MSU closed the scoring with a two-run home run from Jet Butler in the ninth inning. Pinch-hitter Brooks Lewis and Connor Powers also homered back-to-back in the Bulldogs' final at-bat.
For the contest, USA pounded out 18 hits. Zach Grichor and Heisler each had three hits. Doss, Bohanan and Sean Laird each had multiple hits. Heisler and Dross each drove in four runs.
The Bulldogs managed 13 hits. Butler and Connor Powers each finished with three hits, while Russ Sneed had two hits. Butler drove in four runs, while Powers had three RBIs.
MSU threw six pitchers. Michael Busby started for the Bulldogs and was lifted after the home run. Lee Swindle followed and gave way to Devin Jones, who began the fourth inning. Jones (0-1) did not last that fourth inning and suffered the loss. Jared Wesson threw 3-1/3 innings of solid relief before being roughed up in the seventh inning. Ricky Bowen finished the seventh inning and started the eighth inning. Justin Bussey completed the contest.
USA starter Michael Logan, who has been battling tendonitis, also did not make it out of the first inning. Chris LaGrow relieved and worked through the third inning. Michael Raia began the fourth inning but was also chased in that at-bat. Winning pitcher Greg Johnson (3-2) threw 5-2/3 nnings and recorded nine strikeouts to earn the win. Brandon Brown got the game's final out.
The Bulldogs host Memphis at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Dudy Noble Field.