A crowd of 14,562 jammed the legendary ballpark – the second largest-crowd in program history – as No. 10 Mississippi State shut out Auburn 6-0 in the final game of a weekend Southeastern Conference baseball series.
Jacob Lindgren and Jonathan Holder combined for MSU’s sixth shutout of the season. With the victory, MSU clinched the weekend series – a third straight series win in league play. MSU is now 32-10 overall and 10-8 in league play, while Auburn is now 24-16 and 6-12.
“It was a little bit of a tight zone today but I thought Jacob did a nice job, I am really proud of him,” MSU head coach John Cohen said. “After some struggles early, he found his slider and pitched off of that. When we were going into the ninth inning, we talked to him and he wanted to finish the game.
“After the leadoff hit there in the ninth inning we got him and Jonathan came in and closed out a very big win for our program.”
Lindgren (4-1) allowed five hits in eight innings of work, with 11 strikeouts and two walks. The 11 strikeouts were the most by a Bulldog hurler in a league game this season. Holder allowed a hit and a walk before closing the door, as Auburn left the bases loaded in both the second and ninth innings.
The Bulldogs committed one error but turned two more double plays, giving them a nation’s best 57 for the season.
Offensively, MSU scored the only run it needed in the first inning. The Bulldogs tacked on another score in the second inning, three scores in the third inning and an insurance run in the eighth inning.
An RBI-single by Brett Pirtle gave the Bulldogs the early lead. A wild pitch scored the game’s second run. In the third inning, Trey Porter hit a sacrifice fly and Nick Ammirati continued his strong play of late with a two-run single.
“This is the type of player that Nick is,” Cohen said. “He came to us in the off-season and said he was going to work to become a better ballplayer. He told the coaches he was going to make it difficult to keep him out of the lineup. He has done that. He has played really well the last couple of weeks and that hard work is paying off.”
Alex Detz had an RBI-double in the eighth inning.
The Bulldogs finished with nine hits, including multi-hits by Ammirati. Patrick Savage had three of Auburn’s six hits. Starting pitcher Will Kendall (0-5) was lifted in the third inning and took the loss.
Cohen was very appreciative of the monster crowd, which was MSU’s 28th all-time of 10,000 or greater at Dudy Noble Field.
“This was a big recruiting weekend for us and we had several recruits in,” Cohen said. “They saw what a huge advantage Dudy Noble Field can be for us. The crowd was outstanding and we are very appreciative. The players are motivated when they come out and see that type of support. Anytime you win a series in the league, you have had a good weekend. Our crowd played a large role in that success.”
MSU returns to non-conference play for a Tuesday night contest against Memphis. The Bulldogs and Tigers meet at 6:30 p.m. at AutoZone Park.