Miss State knocks off Georgia to reach SEC second round

HOOVER, Ala-Konnor Pilkington pitched eight scoreless innings and Brent Rooker hit his 21st homer Wednesday as No. 5 seed Mississippi State beat No. 12 seed Georgia 3-0 in the Southeastern Conference tournament.

Mississippi State (35-22) advances to the double-elimination portion of the tournament and faces No. 4 seed Arkansas (39-15) on Thursday.

Georgia (25-32) was eliminated.

Pilkington allowed just three hits through the first eight innings before Georgia’s Cam Shepherd and Michael Curry opened the ninth with consecutive singles. Riley Self relieved Pilkington and got a double-play grounder and strikeout to end the game.

Pilkington struck out six and walked two.

Rooker hit a two-run homer in the first inning and later singled twice. Rooker, the SEC player of the year, leads the conference in batting average, homers and RBIs.