State pulled ahead with a three-run third inning off of pitcher Vincent Molesky. There were three hits in the inning, all singles by Gavin Collins, Jake Vickerson and Brett Pirtle. Pirtle and Wes Rea knocked in two of the three runs. The other run scored on a wild pitch.
Facing the third Mount St. Mary's pitcher of the game in the bottom of the fourth, Connor Graber, MSU added a 4th run in the inning, extending their lead to 4-1. Derrick Armstrong and Gavin Collins led off the inning with a walk and a hit by pitch. After Armstrong advanced to third on a fly out to right field by Jake Vickerson, Armstrong scored on a Demarcus Henderson fielders choice.
Mississippi State finished off the Mountaineers with a six-run 8th inning. There were six hits in the inning, Six players had an RBI, including Henderson, Rea, Pirtle, Reid Humphreys, Alex Detz and Seth Heck.
Redshirt sophomore pitcher Preston Brown, in the first start of his Mississippi State career, shut down the Mount St. Mary's hitters, allowing just one run, unearned, on two hits and five walks and seven strikeouts in his six innings of work. He is now 1-0 on the young season. Of his 18 outs, in addition to the 7 strikeouts, he had 10 ground ball outs and one baserunner was thrown out trying to steal.
"it's fun to pitch in cold weather because you are active and the hitters get up there and they are the cold ones," said Brown. "I just fed off my defense and they made plays. My gameplan was to sink the ball and get it in the bottom of the zone and get ground balls and let my infield make some plays."
Brown and Will Cox, who finished the game for State and earned the save, combined for 13 strikeouts in the game. Cox struck out six of the ten batters that he faced.
"Preston did a great job and I can't say enough about what Cox did," said John Cohen. "We shoved the baseball in the strike zone and you have to do that on a cold night."
Vincent Molesky took the loss for the Mountaineers. His record falls to 0-1.
Mississippi State had 12 hits with three hitters having multi-hit games, including Pirtle, Collins and Armstrong. Pirtle had three hits while Collins and Armstrong had two hits each. Pirtle, as well as Demarcus Henderson and Wes Rea, led the Bulldogs with 2 RBI each.
"We needed some offensive production like this early in the year to get some confidence going," said Cohen. "It's been a productive two days for us."
No Mountaineer had more than one hit in the game.
Mississippi Stat's next activity is this weekend when they face both Michigan State and Eastern Illinois at Dudy Noble Field. Mississippi State plays both teams twice.
Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.