Lindgren Creams St. Joseph's In 10-0 Victory

Jacob Lindgren had barely begun the post-victory interview. "Coach Cohen says we never do cold, so the weather…" when SPLAT. A face-full of whipped cream, courtesy of class clown Nick Ammirati, interrupted the proceedings. Lindgren didn't mind of course, partly because it wasn't the shaving cream of last year after big games. "It tastes pretty good actually."

The larger reason was of course that sweet taste of success. Lindgren put on a Friday night show, striking out 13 and throwing a one-hitter for his stint as Mississippi State shut out Saint Joseph's 10-0. The win, in this first of a four-game series at Dudy Noble Field, extended the Bulldogs' unbeaten start to the season at 12-0. The Hawks are 2-5.

Mississippi State also continued the hot February batting pace into a new month, with a dozen base hits and a third-straight output of double-digit runs. But with Lindgren in control one score would have sufficed. The sophomore lefthander had the visitors' number, fanning those 13 of 22 Hawks faced. And in most cases it was a literal fanning with ten of the strikeouts swinging.

"Coach (Butch) Thompson told me to get ahead of the hitters and good things will happen. I was trying to attack them." He won, too. Lindgren's fastball was consistently near or at the 90-mph range, yet it was how he moved the heat and followed with breaking stuff that had Hawks flailing for strike-threes.

"Jacob was spectacular tonight," Coach John Cohen said. "I think he could have beaten almost anybody with the stuff he had, the location he had. He really spun the fastball different tonight, I thought he went into attack mode and never came off it."

Even when not shooting down batters Lindgren (2-0) got outs, as four times he fielded a grounder—all on the left side—and threw the runner out. Bulldog defenders took care of the rest, even making some fine gets of their own. In just the top of the third, LF Derrick Armstrong ran a long way for a diving, backhand grab of a sinking liner to rob at least a double. 2B Kyle Hann might have trumped him immediately as he went hard behind second base for a get, and still threw in time for the out.

Otherwise though Lindgren made it easy on everyone—batters excluded—over his seven complete innings. He was touched for a second-inning single by Chris Hueth, and walked Kevin Kratochwill in the sixth. Those were the only blemishes on Lindgren's line.

"He's awesome," said 1B Wes Rea. "I grew up with Lingo, I know he's capable of doing what he did tonight and it's fun to watch."

Freshman John Marc Shelly worked the last two turns with two hits, a walk, and two strikeouts.

Hawk starter Jack Stover (0-1) was also a lefty, but nowhere near as sharp. He absorbed six runs on seven hits working the first 4.1 innings, with a walk and three strikeouts. To his credit Stover did coax three fast fly balls in the first frame. The second was another matter.

In his first at-bat since the second day of the season and a quadriceps strain, Rea made it a good one by bouncing a grounder across the first-bag for a single. And he kept running as rightfielder Greg Kumpel errored it for a couple of free bases. DH Tyler Fullerton singled to center for the first run, and reached third base on a clean double by RF Demarcus Henderson. 3B Daryl Norris made it 2-0 with a grounder.

Hann led off the Bulldog third with a hit and while he was forced it still had SS Adam Frazier on one base. Frazier stole the next one, and scored as CF C.T. Bradford dropped a hit into short center.

Stover labored on into the bottom of the fifth with an out, then gave way to righthander Matt Haskins. The reliever was greeted by a fly ball from C Mitch Slauter to score Norris; then was taken the other way by sub-swinger 1B Alex Detz. He dropped a double inside the left line for the 6-0 lead.

Lindgren retired 12-straight before that sixth-inning pass, then stranded Kratochwill. He finished the stint in style with one last swinging strikeout.

State was subbing freely by the sixth and still putting people on. And, scoring them. LF Jacob Robson was plunked in leadoff and Henderson reached on an infield single. 2B Sam Frost walked to load all bases for Frazier. He dropped a drive near the right-center gap for his SEC-leading sixth triple of the season and three RBI in the process. A wild Haskins pitch plated Frazier for the 10-0 margin.

Haskins ate four runs on as many hits with a walk and two strikeouts. James Harrity finished out with two scoreless turns, a hit and a strikeout.

Watching young Shelly throw the eighth and ninth let Lindgren cool down before meeting media…and getting his face smeared. For a Coast kid the 37-degree conditions at starting time (it was reportedly seven degrees warmer back in Saint Joseph's Philadelphia hometown) weren't normal.

Still, "I felt great today," said Lindgren as a few scattered flakes were falling. "I give a shout-out to Coach Neal and the strength and conditioning staff for really preparing me for this game."

Rea went 2-of-2 in his return with the run scored, and backup Detz was 1-of-2 for two RBI as the first base position produced. Frazier was his mechanical self with the stick, two hits for three RBI and three runs scored to boot. Henderson was 3-of-4. "Demarcus had a great night, I thought he hit four balls right on the button," Cohen said.

"Guys have been doing a good job, putting together a lot of good swings and getting a lot of timely hits, stuff like that," Rea said. "We just kind of keep it going."

Saturday's second game is scheduled for noon, though fans are urged to watch for updates if overnight weather lingers into the morning. State expects to throw RHP Evan Mitchell (0-0, 2.25) for a third start this early season. Righthander Kyle Mullen (1-1, 2.25) is listed to start for Saint Joseph's.

State is now chasing the 2006 team's record of 18-0 to begin a season.

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