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State Closes Weekend With 7-3 Victory Over Georgia State

STARKVILLE, Miss. – A pair of true freshmen pitched well Sunday afternoon as the Mississippi State baseball team bounced back into the win column with a 7-3 victory over Georgia State Sunday afternoon at Dudy Noble Field.

Evan Mitchell (3-0) worked 5.1 innings, allowing


six hits and two runs (both earned) with a career-high seven strikeouts. Daryl Norris completed the eight-hitter by pitching the final 3.2 innings for his first save. Norris also struck out a pair, while walking none.

“I am very pleased with our freshmen arms today,” MSU head coach John Cohen said. “Evan Mitchell pitched well and Daryl Norris shut them down for a few innings. We backed them up with a couple of good defensive plays. Jaron (Shepherd) made a couple of nice plays in center field.”

The Bulldogs (10-3) played their eighth errorless game of the season, while beating the Panthers (9-4) for the second time in this weekend’s three-team double round-robin tournament.

Offensively, MSU set the tone early by scoring twice in the second inning. After GSU battled back for a 2-2 tie in the top of the fourth inning, the Bulldogs took the lead for good with two scores of their own in the home half of the fourth inning.

In the second inning, Ryan Collins started things with a one-out single. After an infield error, S

hepherd followed with a single to load the bases. A groundout by Wes Thigpen plated one run, while an RBI-single by Sam Frost brought home the other.

The Panthers tied things at 2-2 with a two-run double by Aaron Schmitz. That double came after a double from Roy Fleming and walk by Rob Lind. It was only one of two multi-hit innings for the Panthers.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, Collins began the inning with a lead-off single. A walk and hit batsman loaded the bases. The Bulldogs then had two different run-scoring singles by Thigpen and C.T. Bradford.

The Maroon and White lead was extended to 7-2 thanks to a steal of home by Cody Freeman in the fifth inning, a sacrifice-fly by Jarrod Parks in the sixth inning and an RBI-ground out by Collins in the eighth inning.

Georgia State closed the scoring in the ninth

inning when Schmitz touched Norris for his first home run of the year.

The Bulldogs finished with nine hits but stranded 11 base runners. Bradford and Collins each had multiple hits. Brandon Williams and Schmitz had multiple-hits for the Panthers.

Charley Olson (1-2) worked five innings for GSU, while taking the loss. Olson allowed seven hits and five runs (three earned), with six strikeouts.

Mitchell has started strong for the Bulldogs. In 14.2 innings of work, the Marietta, Ga., native has allowed 13 hits and four earned runs, while striking out 13 batters. The MSU pitching staff has posted a 2.54 ERA through the first 13 games of the 2011 campaign.

Offensively, the Bulldogs are hitting .319. Freeman leads the team with a .421 average, while Parks is tops on the team with 18 base hits. Parks has also driven in a team-best 15 runs, while Jonathan Ogden has hit three of MSU’s seven home runs.

In Sunday’s opener, Iowa defeated Georgia State, 3-2. With the win, the Hawkeyes posted a weekend-best 3-1 record.

The Bulldogs conclude their season-opening 14-game homestand by hosting Mississippi Valley State at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. .


Click the imageĀ  to see a slideshow of the game.

Click the image to see a slideshow of the Iowa- Georgia State game.

Diamond Dogs Down Panthers 8-1; Fall To Iowa 7-6

STARKVILLE, Miss. – Behind the strong pitching of Chris Stratton, the Mississippi State baseball team built an early lead and cruised to an 8-1 victory over Georgia State on a blustery, cold night at Dudy Noble Field.

The Bulldogs were not as fortunate in Saturday’s second contest. A late rally came up short as Iowa knocked off MSU, 7-6. In a contest which ran well past the midnight hour thanks to a

six-hour rain delay before the start of play, the Bulldogs plated three ninth-inning scores but stranded a pair of base runners before the rally could become complete.

Stratton won for the third time in as many starts on the young campaign. The sophomore right-hander worked 6.2 innings, allowing two hits and one run (earned), with five walks and four strikeouts. The Tupelo native is 3-0 with a 0.44 ERA through 20.1 innings of work this season.

The Bulldogs (9-3) broke a scoreless tie with a lone run in the third inning. The lead expanded with a pair of runs in the fourth inning. The Panthers (9-2) scored their lone run in the fifth inning. The Bulldogs then closed business out with two runs in the sixth inning and three more scores in the seventh inning.

In the third inning, Nick Vickerson started things with a one-out walk. After Vickerson stole second base, he scored on an RBI-single from C.T. Bradford. The inning grew an inning later when Bradford drove in a pair of runs with a single.

Georgia State bunched a single, walk and groundout to plate its only run in the fifth inning.

The Bulldogs again took control with a two-run single from Cody Freeman in the sixth inning. The Bulldogs plated three unearned runs one at-bat later thanks to a pair of GSU errors. Jaron Shepherd singled and scored that frame, while Vickerson tripled and scored.

MSU finished with seven hits. Vickerson and Bradford each had multiple hits. Bradford had his third 3-RBI game with the Bulldogs.

Caleb Reed entered in relief and pitched 2.1 innings of hitless relief for the Maroon and White. Reed struck out a pair and walked none while notching his third save.

Nick Squeglia (1-1) worked five innings and took the loss. Joey Wood and Brandon Williams each had a hit for GSU’s two-hit total.

In game two, Iowa’s Nick Brown held the Bulldogs scoreless through the first five innings of his six innings of mound work. The Hawkeyes (3-5) struck quickly, by plating three runs in the top half of the first inning.

MSU starter Tim Statz (0-1) was lifted after facing two batters in the third inning. Statz allowed five hits and four runs (three earned), with two strikeouts and no walks.

For a second straight night, Trevor Willis was the

Iowa hitting star. The Hawkeyes’ lead-off man was 4-for-5 in both victories over MSU during the weekend series. Iowa pounded out 12 hits and also made the most of three MSU fielding errors, six walks and three hit batsmen.

The Bulldogs pounded out 10 hits. Parks and Collins each had multiple hits.

MSU tried to rally from down 7-0 by scoring twice in the sixth, once in the seventh and three times in the ninth.

The three day double round-robin event closes with Iowa and Georgia State playing at 11 a.m., and MSU facing Georgia State at 2:30 p.m. Freshman Evan Mitchell is expected to get the start for the Bulldogs.

Article courtesy Mississippi State Athletic Media Relations

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