STARKVILLE, Miss. – On a perfect day for baseball, Mississippi State (9-4) recorded victories against Eastern Illinois (2-8) and Michigan State (4-5) Saturday afternoon at Dudy Noble Field. An announced crowd of 9,539 attended the second day of the 2014 Diamond Classic presented by Polk’s Meat Products.
GAME ONE RECAP
True freshman Reid Humphreys hit a pinch-hit RBI single in the bottom of the ninth for a thrilling 4-3 walk-off win against Eastern Illinois (2-8) in game one of Saturday’s doubleheader.
Junior left fielder Jake Vickerson, senior third baseman Alex Detz, junior first baseman Wes Rea and true freshman Gavin Collins each knocked out two base hits. Vickerson and Collins scored all four runs for the Maroon and White. Collins also threw out three base runners and picked off another one from behind the plate.
Junior Trevor Fitts pitched his second quality start of the season in the no decision, giving up one run in 6.2 innings of work. The right-hander struck out eight and walked just one. Southpaw Jacob Lindgren improved to 1-0 on the season with 1.2 scoreless stanzas, striking out three.
Eastern Illinois’ Ben Kennedy (0-1) suffered the loss with one run allowed on two hits.
The Bulldogs jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first when Vickerson stole third and sprinted home on a fielding error by the EIU third baseman.
After a sacrifice fly by the visitors in the top of the fifth to tie the game, Vickerson drove in Collins with an RBI double down the right field line to take the lead in the bottom half of the frame. One batter later, Detz knocked in Vickerson with a worm burner up the middle.
The Panthers tied it up with a two-run home run in the eighth, before giving way to ninth-inning dramatics.
With the bases loaded and two outs, Humphreys rifled a shot to the shortstop for a single, driving in Collins for the game-winning run.
GAME TWO RECAP
True freshman Austin Sexton sprinkled three hits across a career-high six shutout innings as the Bulldogs cruised to a 7-1 triumph vs. Michigan State in game two of the Maroon and White’s afternoon doubleheader. The righty struck out a career-best four batters, with 46 of his 68 total pitches being strikes.
Humphreys recorded a career-high two hits, including his first career home run to give the home team a 1-0 lead in the second with a solo blast to left. Junior catcher Zack Randolph doubled the lead with an RBI base knock later in the second. Scoring on Randolph’s single was senior Derrick Armstrong, who ended the game with a school-record tying four stolen bases.
Armstrong scored again in the fourth on a RBI by senior Demarcus Henderson, who made it 4-0 by tapping the dish later in the inning.
Michigan State scored its only run of the game in the ninth when Anthony Cheky scored on a wild pitch.
Mississippi State wraps up the Classic Sunday at 3 p.m. against Eastern Illinois. For more information on the 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.