No. 1 LSU Crushes MSU, 14-3

The LSU Tigers (21-4, 4-2 SEC), showing why they are ranked number one in the nation, used solid pitching by starting pitcher Nate Bumstead and a career day by LSU third baseman Ivan Narrarata to defeat Mississippi State (14-8, 2-4 SEC) 14-3 Sunday afternoon to take two of three from the Bulldogs at Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

"Once (LSU) gets on a roll, gets the crowd behind them in their ballpark, they don't lose very many games here," said MSU coach Ron Polk. "They are a good ballclub. We knew that after talking to various people. People who have played them say this may be the best team they've had in a long time"

Narrarata, who was hitting just .236 with one home run coming into the game, hit two three-run home runs and a sacrifice fly to go 2 for 4 on the day with 7 RBI.

"(Narrarata) was in a slump coming into the weekend (but) he certainly came out of it yesterday and today," said Polk.

Mississippi State scored the first run of the game with a solo home run by Brad Jones, his first of the year, in the top of the 2nd inning.

The one-run lead held up for the Bulldogs until the bottom of the third when LSU scored 7 runs on 5 hits. Bulldog starter Alan Johnson got the first batter on a routine flyball to right field. After the next batter, J.C. Holt, legged out a bunt single, Ryan Patterson hit a soft line drive to put two men on. Blake Gill looped a single to right to knock in Holt for LSU's first run of the game. Matt Liuzza walked on a 3-2 count to load the bases. After a Nick Stavinoha sacrifice fly added a second run, Jon Zeringue hit an RBI single that was looped just inches over the outstretched glove of Bulldog second baseman Jeffry Rea. Clay Harris then reached on a fielder's choice, knocking in LSU's fourth run of the inning. Ivan Narrarata finished off the scoring for LSU with a wind-blown, three-run home run just a few feet inside the left field foul pole.

The Bulldogs got a run back in the top of the fifth inning when Jeff Butts, who had doubled, scored on an error. MSU threaten to score more in the inning but a infield shot by Craig Tatum was grabbed and thrown to second base for a force-out to end the inning.

The Tigers, in their portion of the inning, added their 8th run of the game. Sophomore reliever Brooks Dunn, who replaced starter Johnson with one out and two on, gave up a sacrifice fly to Ivan Narrarata.

The Bulldogs added their final run of the game in the top of the seventh inning. Brian LaNinfa and Tyler Scarbrough lined singles to start off the inning. After a line drive out by Jeff Butts, the Bulldogs loaded the bases when freshman Jeffrey Rea reached base on a bunt single. A wild pitch scored Brian LaNinfa, making the score 8-3. Bumstead, then settled down, getting the next two batters to strikeout and groundout.

LSU came right back to add three more runs in the bottom of the 7th inning with a three-run home run by Narrarata, his second three-run home run of the day.

The Tigers finished their scoring with a three-run 8th inning. The highlight of the inning was a two-run single by pinch-hitter Will Harris.

In addition to Narrarata's two-home run, seven-RBI game, other LSU hitters who had good days at the plate included Blake Gill who went 4-for-5 with a double and RBI and Jon Zeringue who went 2-for-4 with an RBI.

"(LSU) swings the bat well enough to be a title contender, especially in this ballpark." said Polk. "This ballpark has always played small, especially with the wind blowing out like it was today."

LSU's Nate Bumstead earned the victory, allowing 3 runs (2 earned) on 10 hits and no walks while striking out 2 in 7.1 innings.

"Bumstead is a nice Sunday (rotation) guy," said Polk. "Against good discipline ballclubs he might have a tough time. You have to be very patient at the plate against him because you have to lay off his changeup and his breaking ball and he doesn't pitch up in the zone."

Two Bulldog hitters, Steve Gendron and Brad Jones, had two hits each to lead the MSU hitters.

"I thought we swung the bats pretty well today," said Polk. "We only struck out twice, so it wasn't a bad day offensively. We didn't get any walks. We just couldn't get a break. It seemed like everytime we got a man on, we left him stranded."

Alan Johnson took the loss, his first of the season, after allowing 8 runs (all earned) on 9 hits and 3 walks in 4.1 innings of work. He didn't strike out a batter.

"With the wind blowing out to left, the gameplan was to try and work away a little bit and nibble on the outside," said Polk. "(Johnson) couldn't go inside much because of the great ballclub they have. A.J. needed a little luck and he didn't get it."

Mississippi State heads back home to host UAB and Louisiana-Monroe Tuesday and Wednesday night. Gametime is set for 6:30 for both games. The Bulldogs then host a three-game SEC series against the 5th ranked Ole Miss Rebels next weekend.

"Even though we are back home (this week), we struggled last mid-week," said Polk, referring to his team's two home losses to Birmingham-Southern and Samford. "We just didn't swing the bats (well).

"We have Ole Miss coming in (next) weekend. We've had pretty good success against them the last several years. Hopefully, that will carry over to the weekend, but they are a very nice club."

LSU 14, Mississippi State 3
MSU (14-8, 2-4 SEC) 010 010 100 - 3 11 0
LSU (21-4, 4-2 SEC) 007 010 33X - 14 16 3
WP - Bumstead (4-0). LP - Johnson (0-1). HR - Narrarata 2 (4), Jones (1). Time - 2:20. Att. - 8,040 (paid), 5,487 (actual).

Gene Swindoll is the owner of Gene's Page, the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports on the internet. The URL for Gene's Page is You can contact him by emailing

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