After seeing the bullpen blow a lead in game one, Mississippi State head coach John Cohen was looking for someone to throw strikes in game two.
Austin Sexton did just that.
The sophomore right hander tossed his first-career complete game, as the No. 16 Bulldogs beat Alabama 4-1 in game two of a double header to even series.
“I think it goes without saying that certainly Austin just absolutely went out there and did what we needed him to do,” Cohen said. “We needed a strike thrower in the second game and that’s what we got.”
It is the first complete game by a Bulldog pitcher since Ross Mitchell went the distance on May 3 against Auburn in a 3-0 win.
Sexton (3-0) allowed eight hits and walked only one batter, but struck out seven in his fifth start of the season. The only run the Huntsville, Ala., native surrendered was a solo home run by Casey Huhgston in the sixth inning.
After getting the first out in the eighth inning, Sexton gave up back-to-back singles, but he settled down and got the next two batters to strand the pair of baserunners.
The Bulldogs (16-5, 1-1) did just enough offensively to get Sexton the victory. MSU had eight hits and found a way to score in three innings.
The first run came on a RBI double by Cody Brown in the third inning. The right fielder swung at the first offering in a first and second situation with no outs.
John Holland had a sacrifice fly to put MSU up 2-0.
Vickerson brought home a run with a single to stretch the lead to 3-0 in the fourth inning.
The final run came when Josh Lovelady was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded forcing home a run.
Mississippi State 5
The Bulldogs saw a three-run lead slip away, as the Crimson Tide scored eight runs in the eighth inning to take the victory.
Alabama sent 13 men to the plate and scored all eight runs with two outs. The biggest blow was a three-run home run by Mikey White to left field to finish the scoring.
Trevor Fitts (1-2) faced one batter and gave up an RBI single as he took the loss. Alabama’s Jake Hubbard (2-1) threw 2/3 of an inning to take the victory.
The Tide took an early 2-0 lead in the fourth inning, when J.C. Wilhite and Chance Vincent had back-to-back RBI singles.
MSU scored the next five runs, one in the fourth, fifth and seventh. Wes Rea put MSU up 4-2 with a two-run double in the sixth inning.
The Bulldogs were walked 12 times, but only one of those came into score. MSU left 15 men on base.