Corley's Home Runs Lead MSU to Victory

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Brad Corley belted his 12th and 13th home runs of the season Tuesday night powering Mississippi State (23-14) to a 10-2 win over the University of Memphis (18-15) at Dudy Noble Field.

Corley opened the sixth inning with a solo shot that staked freshman starting pitcher Josh Johnson to a 3-1 lead.

State put the game away in the seventh inning, sending 10 batters to the plate and scoring six times. Corley launched a three-run home run over the center field wall and Jeffrey Butts added a three-run double to highlight the inning.

"For whatever reason, I am seeing the ball real well right now," Corley said. "Really as a team, we've been doing the job offensively. Since the Southern Miss midweek series and the SEC games at Kentucky, we've been doing a lot of things well at the plate. Right now, the pitching is struggling. Earlier in the year, the pitching was great. If we can get everybody on the same page, we can be a tough team down the stretch."

Johnson (4-1) picked up the win, allowing a run on five hits with four strikeouts. Brett Cleveland was charged with a run in two innings of relief and freshman lefty Andy Wilson pitched a scoreless ninth.

"The offensive support has been great," winning pitcher Josh Johnson said. "As a (true) freshman, each week it has gotten tougher. We are now facing some great hitting teams, even in the midweek. The game against Southern Miss was probably my best outing of the year. Now to follow that up with a strong showing tonight makes me feel good."

Corley's sixth-inning home run extended his team-leading hitting streak to a career-best 12 games. Lead-off hitter Jeffrey Rea went 2-for-3 and extended his hitting streak to a personal-best 11 games.

Chad house, Bill Moss, Kurt Welch and Adam Amar had two hits each to pace UM's 10-hit attack.

"The pitchers threw strikes and competed," MSU coach Ron Polk said. "As we get closer to the end of the season, each of the midweek games takes on added significance. Offensively, we hit some balls hard and did a good job staying ahead of the count."

Starter Stephen Gostkowski (1-3) took the loss, giving up three runs on five hits in 5-2/3 innings.

The teams conclude their midweek two-game set Wednesday at 6:30 p.m., with State junior lefty Eric Ebers (2-1, 5.90) taking the hill opposite UM junior Michael Novarese (1-0, 3.48).

MEMPHIS 001 000 010 - 2-10-1
MSU 100 011 61x - 10-12-0
WP - Josh Johnson (4-1). LP - Stephen Gostkowski (1-3). HR - Brad Corley-2 (13). T - 2:27. ATT - 1,587 (6,055 paid).

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