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#23 Diamond Dogs Down Nittany Lions, 7-3

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Wes Rea went 2-for-4 and drove in 3 MSU runs.
Photo Courtesy of Bill Simmonds

STARKVILLE, Miss. - No. 23 Mississippi State (11-2) scored three runs in the eighth inning Tuesday night to break open a tight contest with Penn State and claim a 7-3 win over the Nittany Lions (2-8) at Dudy Noble Field. It was the first baseball meeting between the two teams.

Daryl Norris singled in one run and Wes Rea followed with a two-run hit in the inning that expanded a 4-3 Mississippi State lead. Rea finished the night with two hits and drove in three runs while Norris extended his team-leading and career-best hitting streak to eight games.

Up to that point, all of the scoring in the game had come in the first three frames. Penn State tallied single runs off MSU starter C.T. Bradford before freshman Tanner Gaines (1-0) entered the game and blanked PSU no-hit shutout relief over the next 4.2 innings. Senior relief ace Caleb Reed finished the game for State, throwing out a base-runner and retiring the four batters he faced while picking up his third save.

Both teams loaded the bases in each of their first two frames, with Nittany Lion centerfielder Steve Snyder drawing a lead-off walk and later touching home when Joey DeBernardis grounded into a double play.

State answered with a two-run burst off PSU starter Mike Franklin (0-1). Rea doubled in one run and Mitch Slauter gave State a 2-1 lead with an infield groundout. The Nittany Lions loaded the bases and tied the score at 2-2 when Elliot Searer drew a bases-loaded walk.

Demarcus Henderson singled and Adam Frazier drew a two-out walk in the second inning, and both Bulldogs later scored on wild pitches.

Franklin took the loss for Penn State, allowing four runs on two hits with six walks and five wild pitches in 3.2 innings. Joe Kurrasch pitched the final 4.1 innings, holding State scoreless until the three-run burst in the eighth.

Sophomore C.T. Bradford, in his first appearance of the year and second career start, was charged with three runs (two earned) on five hits and three walks.

The two teams conclude their first-ever baseball series Wednesday with a 6:30 p.m. contest at Dudy Noble Field.



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