Propelled by three Top-10 cards from Bulldog golfers, the No. 34 Mississippi State men's golf team breezed by competition with an 18-under-par, 846 score at the Reunion Golf Club and Course.
State won by 15 strokes over second-place Central Arkansas, giving the Bulldogs a 96-26-1 record on the season. In the process MSU beat out in-state foes Ole Miss, Southern Miss and Jackson State. The Bulldogs finished 45 strokes better than the host-Rebels.
"It was another great win for our program and gave us some great momentum as we head toward post-season play," Coach Clay Homan said. "It's really fun to watch these young men and their development. What's more encouraging is that they are not even playing to their full potential. I know they feel like they left plenty of shots out there and they know they can do even better. We are playing good team-golf right now and everyone is doing their part to contribute."
The win for MSU gives the Bulldogs three victories on the season, the most since the 1998-1999 squad. If State can capture victory once again at next week's Old Waverly Collegiate Championship, it would be the most event wins since 1974-1975.
Homan now has 10 wins as the head coach of the Maroon and White, which ranks as the most wins all-time in MSU history. Second on the list with eight wins is the man who coached Homan at State, Greg Martin.
The 846 total score ranks eighth all-time for lowest-tournament totals. The Bulldogs have hit that total three times this season (Sam Hall, Seminole and BancorpSouth).
The 281 and 279 broke into the Top 10's of the MSU history book for lowest rounds. The opening-round 281 ranked eighth all-time for first round scores, while the 279 ranked sixth all-time for second round scores.
State had three golfers capture Top 10 performances, the junior trio of Axel Boasson, Joe Sakulpolphaisan and Chad Ramey all placed in the Top 10 overall at the BancorpSouth Intercollegiate.
Boasson picked up a third place finish, which is the second Top five of the season for the junior. Before 2012-2013, Boasson had never finished in the Top five at MSU. The 7-under-par, 209 also guided the Iceland native to his fourth consecutive Top-15 card. Boasson hit 14 birdies to add to his team-best 99 birdies. The Bulldogs rank eighth in the nation for that category as a team.
Thailand native Sakulpolphaisan's also shot a 7-under-par, 209 to tie with teammate Boasson for a third-place finish; the junior has picked up back-to-back Top-five cards. On the year Sakulpolphaisan has finished with at least a Top-25 card in all tournaments but one, to give him a team-best nine Top-25 finishes.
Former SEC Player of the Week and junior Bulldog Ramey bounced back with a Top-10 card after finishing outside of the Top 25 last tourney. The junior shot a 3-under-par, 213 at Reunion for an eighth-place tie. The Fulton, Miss., native has picked up a team-best six Top 10's this season.
Just outside of the top ten was senior Robi Calvesbert, who shot a 4-over-par, 220 to tie for a 19th-place finish. Junior Barrett Edens fought back from an opening-round 80 to score a 69 and 75 in the following rounds. Edens finished tied for 32nd at the BancorpSouth Intercollegiate.
Next Monday the Bulldogs will host the first-ever home event in the program's history. The Old Waverly Golf Club will serve as MSU's home as the Bulldogs host a 14-team tourney on April 8-9.
Live stats will be available through HailState.com. Fans can also follow the men's golf program through Facebook at facebook.com/mstateMG and on Twitter at @mstateMG.
Track and Field
Clocking top relay times in Austin, Texas paid off for the Mississippi State men's track and field team as it currently holds the No. 13 spot in the latest U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Computer Team Rankings released on Tuesday.
"It's great to be ranked 13th in the nation," MSU Coach Steve Dudley said. "Our guys have worked very hard to be here and deserve this recognition. Ultimately, we only hope to improve, and we are more concerned with our final ranking."
The Bulldogs' early-season success can be seen by an impressive 21 Top 10 finishes through just two meets, 12 of which are Top 5 performances. MSU's 4-400-meter relay team remains an unrivaled foursome, winning both the Conference Challenge and Texas Relays with times of 3:08.68 and 3:05.35, respectively. The quartet is comprised of Tavaris Tate, Brandon McBride, Daundre Barnaby and anchor Randy Patterson.
Most recently, Dudley's 1600-meter sprint medley team won in Austin, as Tate, Scottie Hearns, Barnaby and Patterson clocked a 3:18.09. Displaying some of the toughest competition in the country, the Texas Relays provided MSU a chance to shine on a national stage.
Additionally, the Bulldogs compliment their racing talents with outstanding field performances. Marcus Jackson cleared 7-05.25 in the high jump last weekend, only second to 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Derek Drouin of Indiana. Freshman Piotr Antosik has quickly shown his impact on the team's accomplishments, reaching third on the school's all-time javelin list (214-06).
The Southeastern Conference currently has seven teams in the USTFCCCA Top 25, as Texas A&M, Arkansas and Florida hold the No. 1, 2 and 3 spots, respectively.
MSU hits the road again this weekend, traveling to Tuscaloosa for the Alabama Invite on April 6.
Going the distance in her first collegiate start inside the circle, Mississippi State freshman righty Jacey Punches (3-0) punched out Jackson State (19-22) in a complete-game one-hitter, as the Bulldogs shut out the Tigers by a score of 2-0 Tuesday night at the MSU Softball Stadium. The Round Rock, Texas, native fanned eight, helping the Maroon and White improve to 22-12 on the season.
"There is no pressure on me when I'm in the circle because the defense behind me is playing animal defense," Punches said. "I just know no matter what happens, my teammates have my back."
Junior Logan Foulks was responsible for both of MSU's runs, scoring first in the opening stanza thanks to an error by the Tigers' catcher. The slugger doubled MSU's lead in the sixth inning thanks to a solo home run. The long ball insurance run was the 10th round tripper of the season for the Douglasville, Ga., native, who finished the night 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs.
"Logan just had some excellent timing in her last at-bat," Head Coach Vann Stuedeman said. "She was right on time and put it over the scoreboard."
Also picking up hits for the home team were redshirt sophomores Briana Bell and Julia Echols (1-for-3 each) as well as freshman Loryn NIchols (1-for-2).
Starkville's Team will now make the short drive west to Ridgeland, Miss., for a rematch against UAB Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at Freedom Ridge Park. Admission is $6 for the event. For live in-game updates of MSU's midweek contest, follow the program on Twitter at @MStateSB. For pictures, like the team on Facebook at Facebook.com/MStateSB and visit the team's Instagram account at MStateSB. For pregame and postgame video, check out MSU's official YouTube channel at YouTube.com/HailState.