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Diamond Dogs Pound Lamar 17-2 To Complete Great Opening Weekend

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Jonathan Ogden belted a grand slam in MSU's 13-run first inning.
Photo Courtesy of Bill Simmonds

STARKVILLE, Miss. – Mississippi State scored 13 first inning runs and held on for a 17-2 win over Lamar in a college baseball game played Sunday afternoon at Dudy Noble Field.

The new-look Bulldogs won all games in their season-opening series played before a total weekend crowd of 10,264 on a gorgeous weekend on the MSU campus.

In a pair of victories over Mid-American Conference foe Akron and Southland Conference foe Lamar, the MSU pitching staff delivered. The Bulldogs posted a team ERA of 0.75, allowing 19 hits and three earned runs in 36 innings of work. MSU pitching struck out 36 and walked only 13.

For the fans of statistics, the best number of the weekend may have been no errors for MSU in the four victories.

“Lamar is a good team,” MSU third-head coach John Cohen said. “They won their conference and made a regional last year. Thirty games from now, we will look back and realize what we did today. Because of that, I’m very pleased with what we did.

“Are we going to make errors this season? You better believe it. But when we show up and play like we did today, it will be a great season.”

The Bulldogs removed all doubt Sunday by scoring 13 times in the first inning. That uprising was the best for MSU batters since an 11-run fifth inning in last season’s 27-4 win over Alcorn State.

In the opening at-bat, a total of 17 players made it to the plate. MSU actually scored nine runs before Lamar recorded its first defensive out.

Nick Vickerson began the monster first inning with a walk. Brent Brownlee followed with a single. Jarrod Parks drew a walk to load the bases, chasing Lamar starter Garrett Steward.

Daryl Norris followed with an RBI-single. C.T. Bradford drove in a pair with a single. A bunt single by Wes Thigpen brought home another score. Ryan Collins drew a walk to re-load the bases. This time, Taylor McInnins gave way to Stephen Tromblee on the mound for Lamar.

Jonathan Ogden greeted Tromblee with a massive grand slam to left center. It was the Bulldogs’ third and final home run of the opening weekend.

Sam Frost drew a walk, prior to Vickerson reaching on an infield error. A Parks’ single to left center ran the score to 9-0. Norris hit a sacrifice fly for the half inning’s first out. A two-run double by Collins and another LU error completed the first inning scoring.

MSU starter Tim Statz was lifted after being touched for single runs in the first and third innings. Statz allowed four hits and two runs (both earned), with three walks and two strikeouts in 2.2 innings of work. Evan Mitchell (1-0) threw 3.1 innings of scoreless relief to earn his first win. C.C. Watson, Victor Diaz and Taylor Stark threw an inning apiece to complete the victory.

MSU expanded the lead with a single score in the fourth inning and three more tallies in the fifth inning.

The Bulldogs finished with 14 hits. Parks had three hits, while Vickerson, Brownlee, Norris and Bradford each had multiple hits. Bradford and Norris each finished with three RBIs, trailing only the four produced on Ogden’s slam.

Lamar finished with six hits. Kevin Roebuck hit a solo home run for the Cardinals in the first inning.

Roebuck also hit a walk-off home run in the home half of the ninth inning as Lamar beat Akron 1-0 in Sunday’s opening game.

The Bulldogs host Northwestern State at 4 p.m. Tuesday.


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