MSU Baseball Defeats Cincinnati 16-7

Mississippi State's bats, despite temperatures in the high 30s and a 9 mile per hour wind, continued their trend of staying hot Sunday, scoring 16 runs on 15 hits to defeat Cincinnati 16-7 at Dudy Noble Field Sunday afternoon. With the win, Mississippi State has started off the season 4-0.


"It is more difficult (hitting in the cold weather) but it's never a reason to blame it on," said Holland. "Four or five guys out, you find a way to get your hands warm."

And it didn't take long for the Bulldog batters to get those hands warm. The first three batters of the game, Seth Heck, Ryan Gridley and Reid Humphries, all singed in the bottom of the first. Humphries base hit scored MSU's first run of the game. Jacob Robson also knocked in a run in the inning on a fielder's choice.

Cincinnati had opened the game in the top of the first with a Ryan Noda solo home run off of starting pitcher sophomore Austin Sexton that hit the right field foul pole to give the Bearcats an early 1-0 lead.

The game continued to be 2-1 until the bottom of the third when the Bulldog bats, along with wildness by the Cincinnati pitchers, added eight runs to the scoreboard to put State up 10-1.

Mississippi State sent 11 batters to the plate in the inning with five reaching on hits and five getting on base via walks or being hit by a pitch.

Josh Holland, who knocked in four runs during the game, had a key RBI in the inning.

State added four more runs in the 4th inning to make the score 14-1. And once again, Holland was a key hitter in the inning, knocking in two of the four runs.

"We put up some runs and I think that was very important because we knew they were going to score runs," said Mississippi State head coach John Cohen. "They are going to be a good offensive ballclub. And when their freshman arms get a little older they are going to be a nice club."

In the meantime, Mississippi State brought in sophomore Daniel Brown in relief of Sexton in the top of the 3rd. He pitched two strong innings, allowing 0 runs on 1 hit and 1 walk while striking out 4.

"I thought that Austin was fine," said Cohen. "(But) we wanted to get Daniel Brown in the early part of that ballgame. I thought that Daniel pitched really well."

With the Bulldogs safely ahead 14-1, the MSU coaching staff brought in true freshman lefthander Paxton Stover in the top of the 5th.

In his first appearance in the Bulldog uniform, Stover was roughed up, giving up six runs on 4 hits and 2 walks while striking out 1 in two-thirds of an inning.

"They put together a big 5th inning on us and ruined the debut of freshman lefthanded pitcher for us," said John Cohen. "Paxton Stover is going to be a really good pitcher for us but this is one of those outings that he will remember for the rest of his life being out there for the first time and didn't do all those things that we know he can do. He'll learn from that and be a really good pitcher for Mississippi State."

Zac Houston replaced Stover and gave up an RBI single then saw the runner thrown out trying to steal.

Houston also threw the sixth inning before being replaced by Trevor Fitts in the 7th.

Fitts finished the game, throwing three innings, allowing 0 runs on 1 hit and 2 walks to go along with his 3 strikeouts.

"We knew we needed to get Trevor in," said Cohen. "You can't play four ballgames without getting Trevor involved."

Mississippi State added two additional runs in the bottom of the 7th on RBIs by Matthew Britton and Holland.

For the Bulldogs, four hitters had multiple-hit games, Seth Heck, Reid Humphries and John Holland with 3 hits each and Ryan Gridley with 2 hits.

"I thought that Reid Humphries swung the bat well for us," said Cohen. "And you can't say enough about what Seth Heck is doing for us. We had some good offensive things happen for us."

Holland played first base in place of injured Wes Rea.

"Wes got hit in the knee with a pitch yesterday and lost a little feeling in his foot and we needed to move some (people) around (today)," said Cohen. "I don't know how long Wes will be out. Hopefully, we will see him again next weekend."

Daniel Brown earned the victory, his first as a Bulldog.

For the four games played during the weekend, Bulldog batters scored 48 runs on 46 hits.

"It was nice (getting so many runs) because it took a little relief off of our pitching staff with the kids not going too deep and bringing in a lot of new pitchers and taking the stress off of them," said Holland.

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 swindoll@genespage.com.


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