MSU defeats JSU, 18-4

STARKVILLE - Brad Corley drove in four runs as Mississippi State defeated Jackson State 18-4 in college baseball action Tuesday afternoon. The victory improved the Bulldogs to 4-0 on the young season. Jackson State fell to 5-6. The Bulldogs continue home play against Southwestern Athletic Conference competition Wednesday with a 4 p.m. game against Mississippi Valley State.

Against six JSU pitchers, the Bulldogs struck for 15 hits and two more home runs. The Bulldogs have had 12 or more hits in each of their first four games. State also hit seven home runs through their first four contests. "We had a nice offensive game," MSU coach Ron Polk said. "So far, we have some players swinging the bats with a lot of confidence. We have a nice stretch of games here at home to start the season and each win can be a confidence builder."

In the MSU fourth inning, Brad Corley hit a three-run home run and Craig Tatum hit a two-run home run. For each MSU player, it was their second home run of the season. Those longballs highlighted a six-run fourth inning as MSU blew open a tight contest to take a 9-1.

The Bulldogs actually scored in six different at-bats. State quickly erased a 1-0 deficit with one unearned run in its half of the first inning. MSU then grabbed the lead for good on a run-scoring balk call and Corley sacrifice fly in the third inning.

A two-run single by Michael Rutledge was the big blow in the fifth inning as the Bulldogs rolled out to a 14-1 advantage.

Jackson State tried to battle back with two runs in the seventh inning and a single score in the ninth inning.

For MSU, Jeffrey Rea, Steve Gendron, Tyler Scarbrough and Tatum each had two hits. Scarbrough had three RBIs, while Tatum, Rutledge and Gendron each had two RBIs.

Brooks Dunn (1-0) worked five strong innings to pick up the victory in his first career MSU start.

"It felt good to get the win," Dunn said. "We have started the season strong. I am just glad I was able to step up and contribute today."

Dunn allowed two hits and no earned runs with no walks and three strikeouts. Todd Doolittle, Brett Cleveland, Mike Valentine and Saunders Ramsey each threw one inning in relief for the Bulldogs.

Jarred Vaughn (0-1) lasted three innings and took the loss for JSU. Omar Stokley, Omari Turner, Donte Hill, Chris Smith and Courtney Green pitched in relief for the Tigers.

Joaquin Rodriguez had a single and double to highlight JSU's seven-hit attack.

Mississippi State 18, JSU 4

Jackson State (5-6) 100 000 201 --- 4-7-2
MSU (4-0) 102 653 10x --- 18-15-3

WP --- Brooks Dunn (1-0). LP --- Jarred Vaughn (0-1). HR --- JSU: Johnson (1); MSU: Corley (2), Tatum (2). ATT --- 5234 (paid), 407 (actual).

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