Ethan Paul

Ethan Paul

STARKVILLE, Miss. (VUAD)– Vanderbilt scored four times in the fifth, overcoming an early two-run deficit to defeat Mississippi State, 4-3 and secure the three-game Southeastern Conference sweep of the Bulldogs on Sunday afternoon at Dudy Noble Field.

The No. 13 Commodores (15-5, 3-0 SEC) sent all nine batters to the plate in the fifth, taking a 3-2 lead on a two-out, two-run single from Connor Kaiser to score Ethan Paul (walk) from second and Austin Martin (single) from third. The Bulldogs (10-10, 0-3 SEC) walked three batters in the frame to help the Dores’ cause. Stephen Scott walked and came around to score on a passed ball to score Vanderbilt’s first run of the game. Another Bulldogs’ miscue scored the fourth run to cap the rally, as Philip Clarke reached on an errant throw to allow JJ Bleday (walk) to score.

Mississippi State jumped ahead 1-0 in the first inning on consecutive singles and a sacrifice fly from Tanner Allen and padded its lead in the third as Jake Mangum clubbed a leadoff double and scored two batters later on a wild pitch. The Bulldogs cut the Commodores’ advantage to 4-3 in the sixth as pinch-hitter Jordan Westburg sent a two-out single up the middle.

Kaiser led the Dores with two RBIs alongside a 1-for-5 performance. Five Vanderbilt hitters recorded six hits with leadoff hitter Austin Martin posting the lone multi-hit performance with a single and a double.

Mississippi State’s top-three hitters accounted for four of the team’s six hits, led by Mangum who finished 2-for-3 with two runs. Allen and Westburg each drove in runs. The Bulldogs finished 1-for-7 (.143) with runners in scoring position and 2-for-14 (.143) with men on base. The one-two punch of starter Mason Hickman and reliever Tyler Brown stranded MSU runners on second in both the fifth and seventh innings.

Making his second career start, Hickman (4-0) tossed five innings, allowing four hits and three runs while fanning four and walking two. Brown picked up his second save, scattering two hits while walking one and matching a season-high with six strikeouts in four scoreless innings.

The Dores outscored the Bulldogs, 19-4 in the three games while recording their first sweep at Mississippi State since 2010. It also marked the first road sweep in SEC play since taking all three at Missouri, March 25-27, 2016.

After spending nine of their last 10 games on the road, the Commodores return to Nashville on Tuesday to face Belmont at First Tennessee Park, home of the Nashville Sounds. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. BOXSCORE

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