Bulldogs drop from polls, pound Alcorn 16-2
Thursday, April 17, 2014 1:00 AM
STARKVILLE -A day after dropping out of most Top 25 polls, Mississippi State won its seventh straight midweek contest with a 16-2 college baseball win over Alcorn State Tuesday night at Dudy Noble Field.
The Bulldogs pulled away from a tight 3-2 contest by scoring the game's final 13 runs, including seven in the eighth inning.
Austin Sexton (2-0) earned the win, with 4.2 innings of three-hit shutout relief. Vance Tatum drew the start for MSU, while Zac Houston threw the ninth inning.
"It was a good night for our baseball team," MSU head coach John Cohen said. "I thought we had some good at-bats and made some things happen on the bases. On the mound, we had some pitchers throw strikes and they gave us a chance to have success."
The Bulldogs (23-15) scored twice in the first inning with only one base hit. Cody Brown, Alex Detz and Brett Pirtle drew walks to load the bases. Seth Heck was hit by a pitch forcing in a run, while Gavin Collins drew in the other run with a sacrifice fly. C.T. Bradford had the hit in the at-bat.
MSU stretched the lead to 3-1 an inning later when Brown walked, stole second and third and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Pirtle.
Alcorn State (6-33) closed within 3-2 with a single score in the fourth inning. A hit batsman and double by Brandon Ollet ended the night for MSU starting pitcher Tatum. In relief, Sexton was touched for an RBI-single by Christian Hickman.
The Bulldogs then got separation by scoring three times in both the fourth and fifth innings.
In the fourth inning, Wes Rea and Matthew Britton started things with back-to-back singles. Brown drew a walk to load the bases. Detz then lined a two-run single to left center. A sacrifice-fly by Heck ended the scoring for that frame.
In the fifth inning, Derrick Armstrong got things going with a one-out walk. After Armstrong stole second, he scored on an RBI-single by Rea. Britton followed with a double to left center. Brown connected for a sacrifice fly before Detz closed the scoring with an RBI-double.
The Bulldogs tacked on insurance runs in the eighth inning with RBI-singles from Armstrong, Zack Randolph, Detz, Brown, Reid Humphreys and Daniel Garner.
MSU finished with 13 hits. Detz had three hits, while Rea and Britton each had two hits. Detz had four RBIs, while Brown and Heck each drove in two runs.
Alcorn State finished with seven hits. Scotty Peavey and Hickman each had multiple hits for the Braves.
MSU returns to Southeastern Conference play this weekend with a three-game series at Missouri. The Bulldogs and Tigers meet at 6 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.