Gene Swindoll, Gene's Page

Early offense secures Mississippi State baseball victory at Memphis

A five-run first inning was all the Mississippi State baseball team needed on Tuesday, downing Memphis 8-3 at AutoZone Park. The Bulldogs (16-10) scored five or more runs for the fourth straight game en route to the midweek victory.

Memphis (16-8) scored three runs on just three hits in the contest, with two of the hits coming late in the ballgame.

Ryan Gridley led the charge with three hits and four RBI. Brent Rooker had two hits—a double and a triple—to extend his hit streak to a career-long 11 games. Jake Mangum and Cody Brown also had a pair of hits. Josh Lovelady had a pair of doubles, and Brant Blaylock had one hit.

“This was an outstanding win for our club tonight,” head coach Andy Cannizaro said. “I was really proud of the way our guys started off tonight. We started fast offensively.”

MSU continued its hot-hitting from the weekend with five runs in the top of the first inning. Mangum reached on a leadoff single and advanced to third on a double by Rooker. Both runners were then driven in on a two-run single by Gridley. A sacrifice fly by Tanner Poole then plated Gridley. A two-RBI double by Lovelady rounded out the scoring in the inning, driving in Elijah MacNamee and Cody Brown.

The Bulldogs added a run in the second when Gridley singled to drive home Rooker.

Memphis answered with a two-run home run by Chris Carrier in the bottom of the second.

State plated two more runs in the top of the eighth. Gridley led off the frame with a solo shot over the left field wall. Brown then doubled and scored on a throwing error that allowed Poole to reach base.

Memphis added a run in the ninth with a one-out RBI double by Jason Santana.

Cole Gordon (2-0) pitched 4.0 no-hit innings in relief, striking out five batters and walking three. Graham Ashcraft started and tossed 3.0 innings in which he allowed a pair of runs on just one hit. Denver McQuary and Trysten Barlow finished out the contest, pitching an inning apiece.

Jonathan Bowlan (2-3) started for the Tigers and went 7.0 innings and allowed six runs (five earned) on eight hits. He also struck out six batters while walking just one.

State will return to league play this weekend with a three-game Southeastern Conference series at Ole Miss that will open on Thursday in a nationally-televised contest at 7 p.m. CT on ESPNU.

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