Luke Mann Missouri baseball  vs. Mississippi State

Missouri third baseman Luke Mann (16) celebrates with teammates after a home run against Mississippi State on Saturday at Dudy Noble Field in Starkville, Miss. Mann went 2 for 3 with four RBI in the Tigers’ 16-8 win over the Bulldogs.

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For the second night in a row, Missouri baseball pulled off an upset win over No. 3 Mississippi State.

With a 16-8 win over the Bulldogs on Saturday in Starkville, Mississippi, the Tigers got their first series win over a top-five team since April 2015 against No. 4 Florida. The Tigers’ 16 runs are the most they have ever scored under coach Steve Bieser in an Southeastern Conference game.

Missouri was already up 4-0 in the third inning, in part because of a home run from Alex Peterson, when senior Brandt Belk hit a grand slam to extend the Tigers’ lead to 8-0. It was Missouri’s first grand slam since 2019.

It wasn’t until the fourth that Mississippi State was able to respond. The Bulldogs hit back-to-back home runs to cut the Tigers’ lead in half.

From there, Missouri and Mississippi State took turns scoring runs. In the fifth, the Tigers answered with two runs to make it 10-4, one from another Peterson home run. In the bottom of the inning, Mississippi State added four to decrease the Tigers’ lead to 10-8.

Enter Missouri closer Ben Pedersen.

Pederson pitched the final 4⅔ innings, giving up four hits and no runs to seal the win for the Tigers.

Missouri added two runs in the seventh and Luke Mann hit a three-run home run in the ninth.

It was quite a day for Tiger hitters, including Peterson’s two-homer afternoon. Belk and Mann had four RBI each. Mann had a home run and was 2 for 3. Joshua Day had two RBI.

“Big series win for us. This is a character-building series and something that we’ve needed for a long time here,” Bieser said in a news release. “I’m proud of how they responded. We’re coming in playing a really good team – honestly, I felt like this was the best team on paper that we’ve played this season.”

This article originally ran on columbiamissourian.com.

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