Tatum, Jones Lead Bulldogs Over Tigers

STARKVILLE, Miss - Craig Tatum had three hits and Brad Jones hit his sixth home run of the season as Mississippi State defeated Memphis 7-2 in college baseball action Wednesday night.

The contest was called after a 1-hour, 5-minute delay in the top of the sixth inning. Memphis had one on and one out when an explosion took place just beyond the left field wall. The electrical failure left the MSU campus without power. When officials alerted both coaching staffs that the delay would be lengthy, the coaches agreed to call the contest and make it official. The victory allowed the Bulldogs to sweep a mid-week two games series from the Tigers. MSU improved to 24-14 overall, while Conference USA foe Memphis fell to 18-16.

MSU took the lead for good with three runs in the bottom of the first inning, erasing a 2-0 defecit. Brad Corley drew a two-out walk and moved to second base on a wild pitch. Corley then scored on a Craig Tatum RBI double. Brad Jones followed with his sixth home run of the season - a two-run shot to right field.

The Bulldogs expanded the lead with two more runs in the second inning. Jeff Butts and Brian LaNinfa each drew walks to start the second inning. The first run eventually scored on a fielder's choice groundout. Steve Gendron's RBI single upped the advantage to 5-2.

In the MSU fifth inning, Corley started things with a double. Tatum followed with a single through the left side of the infield. An RBI single by Brad Jones scored Corley. An RBI single by Butts plated Tatum and closed out the scoring.

For MSU, Jamie Gant (4-4) looked strong in relief. Gant entered in the third inning and completed the contest. In 3 1/3 innings of work, Gant allowed three hits and no runs. Gant struck out three and walked one. Eric Ebers allowed seven hits in two-plus innings as the MSU starter.

Memphis actually broke on top with two runs in the first inning. Jordan Hart, Chad House and Bill Moss opened the contest with back-to-back-to-back singles. The first scored when Brent Dlugach grounded out. Kurt Welch followed with an RBI single to close the Memphis scoring.

Starter Michael Novarese (1-1) took the loss. Novarese allowed eight hits and seven runs (all earned) in four innings of work. Zach Cook pitched the fifth inning for the Tigers.

MSU finished with 10 hits. Tatum had three hits, while Brad Jones had two hits. For Tatum, it was his 14th multi-hit game of the season. Corley has now hit safely in 13 straight games, while Jeffrey Rea has now hit safely in 12 straight games. Memphis also had 10 hits. Moss finished with three hits, while Dlugach had two hits.

MSU travels to Auburn, Ala. for a weekend series against Southeastern Conference foe Auburn. The Tigers and Bulldogs play at 6:30 p.m. Friday, 3 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.

Mississippi State 7, Memphis 2
Memphis (18-16) 200 000 - 2 10 0
Mississippi State (24-14) 320 02x - 7 10 0
WP-Gant (4-4). LP-Novarese (1-1). 2B-Scott (7); Corley (6), Tatum (12). HR-B. Jones (6). T-1:50 (1:05 delay). A-1,311.

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