Hogs split twin bill with Bulldogs

Jalen Beeks

Arkansas and Mississippi State traded strong pitching performances in a doubleheader split on Saturday in SEC baseball. Jalen Beeks and Michael Gunn combined for a shutout in the 4-0 victory for the Hogs in the opener. State won the second game, 5-1.

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Jalen Beeks and Michael Gunn combined to pitch another Arkansas shutout in the opener, but Mississippi State bounced back behind pitcher Ross Mitchell to gain a split of a Saturday doubleheader in SEC baseball at Dudy Noble Field.

Arkansas (17-9, 4-4) won the first game, 4-0, with Mississippi State (19-10, 5-3) taking the second game, 5-1. State will share the SEC lead heading into Sunday's finale.

The series had been postponed because of rain Friday night. The rubber match of the three-game series will be at 1:30 p.m. Sunday when Chris Oliver pitches for the Hogs.

Beeks (4-2) scattered nine hits over eight innings with Gunn pitching the ninth to give Arkansas pitchers their fifth shutout of the season. The Hogs blanked Alabama on Sunday, then shutout Mississippi State in two of three games on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Arkansas pitchers had allowed only two runs in 66 innings before State broke through against starter Trey Killian and the bullpen in the sixth inning of the second game.

Mitchell (4-1) gave up a run in the first, but was lights out the rest of the way in a complete game. He hit Andrew Benintendi to lead off the game. Bobby Wernes moved him to second on a sacrifice bunt. Brian Anderson's bouncer took a bad hop over the second baseman's glove for a single to score Benintendi.

Mitchell then retired 13 straight, with Eric Fisher reaching when the pitcher failed to cover first on a bouncer to the first baseman. Mitchell then retired the next 10 before Benintendi and Wernes singled to leadoff the ninth. Mitchell started a double play on Anderson's grounder, then got Spoon on a warning track fly out to end the game.

In the opener, the Hogs jumped on top in the second when Fisher scored on a wild pitch. In the fourth, Wernes singled home Spoon. In the fifth, Anderson singled home Wernes and Fisher scored on Benintendi's ground out to first.

Joe Serrano had three hits in the opener. Fisher and Wernes each added two hits.

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