STARKVILLE, Miss. – Mississippi State redshirt junior Wes Rea hit three home runs and drove in eight RBIs Saturday as the Bulldogs split a doubleheader with Holy Cross in front of 7,646 fans at Dudy Noble Field. The Maroon and White won the first game by a score of 8-4, before narrowly losing by a 7-6 margin to the Crusaders in game two. The two teams wrap up the series with a noon finale Sunday.
Rea finished the first game Saturday 2-for-4 with two dingers and a career-high tying four RBIs. The first baseman was aided by redshirt freshman Daniel Garner, who became the first Bulldog in 2014 to record four hits in a game (4-for-4, one run). True freshman Gavin Collins also broke through on offense, tallying his first two collegiate RBIs with his first base knock in the seventh inning.
Right-handed pitcher Trevor Fitts earned the start in Game 1, improving to 2-0 thanks to five strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings. The junior surrendered three runs (two earned) on seven hits and one walk. Fellow junior righty Will Cox closed out the game to notch his first career save, striking out five and allowing just one run in 3 1/3 innings.
In Game 2, Rea tied his career best for runs driven with four RBIs on a season-high three hits, including a three-run bleacher blast. Outfielders Jake Vickerson (2-for-4, two runs, walk) and Demarcus Henderson (2-for-4, RBI) also recorded multiple hits in the second game of the double dip.
The Bulldogs gave up three unearned runs in the first before tying it at three all in the second. Holy Cross (1-2) plated a pair in the third to give the visitors a 5-3 lead, before Rea took the lead for MSU with the long ball in the fourth. Leading 6-5 after seven, Mississippi State surrendered two runs in the eighth to decide the game and drop to 4-3 on the young season.
Sophomore John Marc Shelly (0-1) suffered the loss for MSU, while Holy Cross’ Justin Finan picked up his first win of the 2014 campaign. Jon Escobar, who scored the tying run for the Purple and Black in the eighth as a pinch runner, recorded his first save of the year with two shutout innings to end the game.
For more information on Sunday’s game, follow the team on social media by searching for “HailStateBB” on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. All-Access coverage of the program can also be found on FanCred.