It seemed early on to be following the same template we’d seen the previous two days at Dudy Noble, as South Carolina jumped to an early lead, but this time it was the Gamecocks using the big inning and the long ball to extend their lead, and hold on for a 10-8 win over Mississippi State that punches their ticket to the SEC Tournament and dropped the Bulldogs from a potential SEC West championship to the #4 seed when play starts in Hoover on Tuesday. The Bulldogs fall to 45-11 overall, 20-10 in the conference, finishing tied with Arkansas atop the division but behind in the seeding by virtue of a sweep at the hands of the Razorbacks last month.
NOTHING DOING UP TOP
The top of the order really slumped this weekend, as Jake Mangum and Jordan Westburg went a combined 5-20 at the plate. With Tanner Allen having a monster series, going 12-15, he could have really put up huge RBI numbers if the guys in front had delivered a bit more. The top two were 2-10 on Saturday, with Mangum now in a 2-16 for slump of his own. It goes without saying the Bulldogs need those guys to get back going if they want to make the long postseason run they’ve been expecting.
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Mississippi State will take on the winner of the South Carolina-LSU game on Wednesday night, first pitch is scheduled for 8 PM. Coach Chris Lemonis said in postgame that he had not sat down to plan his team’s pitching rotation for the week, but it is likely the weekend trio of Ethan Small, JT Ginn, and Peyton Plumlee won’t see the mound any early than Thursday should the Bulldogs remain in the winner’s bracket.