Overall record: 17-3-1 (home: 10-2-1, away: 6-1) SEC: 5-1.
Mississippi State went 4-1 for the second straight week and closed out a successful season-longest five-game road trip with a first-ever three-game series sweep at No. 16 Arkansas (4-3 in 10 inn., 8-3, 5-1). MSU opened and closed the series at Arkansas with impressive complete-game pitching performances by lefty PAUL MAHOLM (10.0 IP, five hits, three walks and three runs allowed) and southpaw TODD NICHOLAS (9.0 IP, three hits, four walks, eight strikeouts and one run allowed). It was the second consecutive 10-inning mound stint for Maholm. MSU pitchers fashioned a 1.93 ERA for the series and 2.33 ERA during the five-game road run. State's Saturday starter, sophomore ALAN JOHNSON (6.0 IP, seven hits, three runs, two walks) also earned a win, giving all three Bulldog starters wins on the second weekend of SEC competition.
Junior relief pitcher JONATHAN PAPELBON (4-0, 0.44) earned his first save of the year with three shutout innings in relief of Johnson.
Junior third baseman STEVE GENDRON (.384) extended his hitting streak to 14 games in Sunday's series finale and the team's hitting leader, shortstop MATTHEW MANISCALCO (.393), now has hits in 20 of MSU's 21 games.
First baseman MATTHEW BRINSON warmed up at the plate with a .444 BA last week, driving in six runs while belting his second and third home runs of the year.
Freshman outfielder JOSEPH HUNTER had but three hits in the five games but drove in a team-high eight runs last with a pair of two-run home runs against Memphis and a two-run triple, a sacrifice fly and a HBP at Arkansas.
MSU played solid defense at Arkansas, committing but one error in three games.
The four pitchers used in the weekend series at Arkansas held the nationally-ranked Razorbacks to seven runs and a .175 batting average.
The lone blemish on the Bulldogs' scoresheet for the week was an 8-7, 10-inning loss at Memphis. The Tigers scored seven times in the final two innings and in the 10th inning earned the series split with a solo home run. State pounded out a season-high 16 hits in winning the series opener at AutoZone Park 12-3.
MSU TEAM STATS
Batting average: .321 Earned run average: 2.35 Fielding percentage: .976.
MSU INDIVIDUAL LEADERSBatting average: Matthew Maniscalco (.393).
RBI: Jon Mungle (16), Matthew Maniscalco (15), Steve Gendron (15).
Home runs: Joseph Hunter (4), Matthew Brinson (3).
Pitching leaders: Paul Maholm (3-1, 1.80, 35 K), Alan Johnson (3-0, 2.35, 26 K), Todd Nicholas (3-0, 1.65, 24 K), Jonathan Papelbon (4-0, 1 save, 0.44, 29 K).
PITCHER OF THE WEEK NOMINEE
PLAYER: Todd Nicholas (LHP) HT: 6-2 WT: 216 HOMETOWN: Greenville, Ala.
NOTES: Career-high 9.0 IP, first career complete game and career-high eight strikeouts for Nicholas, leading MSU to a clinching of its first weekend road series sweep of Arkansas in six visits to Fayetteville ... Gave up one run in the second and allowed four base runners (two via walks and two via bloop singles) from the third inning on, with none reaching second base ... Held the homestanding 16th-ranked Razorbacks to a .107 batting average.