STARKVILLE, Miss. – Mississippi State scored seven runs in the fourth inning and bounced back into the win column with a 13-1 victory over Mount St. Mary’s in front of 6,435 fans Tuesday afternoon at Dudy Noble Field.
The Bulldogs collected season highs in hits (13) and runs (13), while snapping a two-game losing streak. With the win, MSU improved to 5-4, while Mount St. Mary’s fell to 2-2.
Senior right-hander Ben Bracewell dominated for the Bulldogs. In his second-straight quality start, Bracewell (2-0) allowed six hits and one run (earned) in seven innings of work. In addition to his career high innings pitched, the eight strikeouts were also a career high.
“Ben pitched like a senior should,” MSU head coach John Cohen said. “(Zack) Randolph did a nice job behind the plate. Our pitching and catching was great. We also defended the field well.”
Leading 2-1, the Bulldogs blew the contest open with the seven-run fourth inning. After a sacrifice fly plated the first run of the inning, MSU responded with six-straight run producing hits – an RBI-single by Jake Vickerson, an RBI-single by C.T. Bradford, an RBI-single by Wes Rea, an RBI-single by Brett Pirtle, an RBI-single by Daniel Garner and RBI-single by Alex Detz.
The Bulldogs now have driven in 24 runs with two outs in an inning.
“Sometimes the game beats you down when you do things well and you aren’t rewarded,” Cohen said. “You feel like here we go again. The kids kept fighting the game tonight. I thought you saw the things come together that you were hoping would come together during the first two weeks of the season.”
MSU built a 1-0 lead in the second inning on a sacrifice-fly by Seth Heck, which was his first RBI as a Bulldog. A sac-fly by Rea gave the Bulldogs a 2-1 lead in the third inning. A sac-fly by Randolph started the scoring in the fourth inning.
Such offense was more than enough for Bracewell, who faced 28 batters and threw 89 pitches, after throwing six innings of three-hit ball in a no decision against Memphis. Houston and Laster combined to face the minimum.
Vickerson, Pirtle, Garner and Demarcus Henderson each had multiple hits for the Bulldogs. Garner drove in a career high three runs.
For Mount St.Mary’s, Zach Call had multiple hits. Starting pitcher Kevin Myers (0-1) was lifted during the fourth inning and took the loss.
The series concludes at 4 p.m. Wednesday.