Diamond Dogs Oust Eastern Illinois, 9-4, For Midweek Victory

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Daryl Norris went 2-for-4, drove in four runs, and struck out three batters in one inning on the mound.
Photo Courtesy of Bill Simmonds

STARKVILLE, Miss. - A four-run first inning gave the Mississippi State baseball team early momentum, as the Bulldogs blew past Eastern Illinois 9-4 on a windy, chilly Wednesday night for baseball at Dudy Noble Field.

The Bulldogs improved to 13-4 and closed out what turned out to be a 17-game homestand, since last week's MSU-UAB game in Birmingham was suspended by rain. The Maroon and White now return to the road for a Wednesday night tussle at Lipscomb before opening Southeastern Conference play at second-ranked Vanderbilt this weekend.

Eastern Illinois dropped to 1-11 with the defeat.

"We had some sloppy innings tonight," MSU head coach John Cohen said. "We managed to get through them and learned a lot about our team. We look forward to starting SEC play."

In the MSU first inning, Nick Vickerson started things with a leadoff single. Ryan Collins followed with an RBI-double. Daryl Norris then added a one-out RBI-single. An RBI-double by Cody Freeman and an RBI-groundout by Jonathan Ogden produced the other runs.

The Panthers answered with two runs in the third inning. Jacob Reese started things with a one-out single. After a sacrifice bunt attempt, Zach Borenstein lined an RBI-tripled. Borenstein then trotted home on a double from Cam Strang.

The Bulldogs then removed all doubt from the contest with five runs on four hits in the fourth inning. Jaron Shepherd and Ryan Collins began the inning with back-to-back singles. A wild pitch advanced the runners, and an intentional walk to Parks loaded the bases.

Norris followed with a three-run double to left center. An RBI-double by C.T. Bradford and sacrifice-fly by Freeman capped the MSU scoring.

The Bulldogs finished with 11 hits. Vickerson had three hits, while Norris and Shepherd each had multiple hits. Norris had a team-best four RBIs.

The Panthers finished with 10 hits. Borenstein had a perfect 4-for-4 night at the plate. Strang and Ben Thoma each added multiple hits.

Kendall Graveman (2-0) worked the first five innings to garner the win. Graveman allowed seven hits and three runs (all earned), with two strikeouts and a walk. Andrew Busby, Chad Girodo, Norris and Bradford each threw an inning in relief.

Tony Barton (0-1) last three innings and took the loss. Adam Clark, Brent McNeil, Darrin Worman and Matt Miller followed in relief for EIU.

The MSU-Lipscomb game starts at 6 p.m. Wednesday and will be broadcast statewide on the Bulldog Sports Network.



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