Enrico Jones Has a Career Night at the Plate

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Enrico Jones drove in a career-high five runs and starting pitcher Ryan Carroll (1-0) picked up his first career win as Mississippi State (19-11-1) bested Mississippi Valley State (7-31) 11-1 at Dudy Noble Field. It was the fourth win in the last five games for the Bulldogs, who open a three-game SEC Western Division weekend series Friday with Arkansas (18-11, 4-5 SEC).

"The biggest thing was we needed to get a mid-week win," said Carroll about the win. "We haven't done that very often this year. These mid-week games are so huge going into the regional. That was the biggest thing on my mind, winning this game."

Jones lashed a two-run home run in the fourth inning, his first roundtripper of the year, doubled in two runs in the sixth and drove in a fifth run with a sacrifice fly during a five-run Bulldog scoring burst in the seventh inning.

"The toughest part of today was staying focused," said Jones referring to his starting assignment after primarily coming in during the late innings of ball games. "I kept my focus and swung the bat well. It has been a struggle swinging. It was great to show my teammates and myself that it is never over and that you always should continue to work hard."

Carroll, making his second start and his 42nd career appearance, retired the six batters he faced in two innings to pick up the win. Carroll and seven other Bulldog hurlers combined for 12 strikeouts and a staff season-low two hits. Robby Goodson and Chris Young fanned the three batters they faced during their respective one-inning mound stints.

"We wanted to give some kids a chance to pitch," said Polk. "We wanted to give Chris Young an inning to prepare for this weekend. I thought that Robby Goodson was very good. Saunders Ramsey dropped down to another arm slot, which I think is more natural for him. That is very encouraging for him and us, not only for now, but for the future."

Michael Brown went 3-for-3 and lashed a pair of doubles and both Brent Lewis and Steve Gendron turned in two-hit, two-RBI plate performances. Brown and Matthew Brinson legged out doubles and Matthew Maniscalco hit a triple as the Bulldogs batted through the order during their five-run eighth inning.

MVSU starter Trey Wall (0-9), playing in his hometown, took the loss, giving up four runs on six hits during his 3-1/3 innings on the mound. The Delta Devils scored their lone run in the fifth inning when Keith Ford walked, advanced on a single and a sacrifice bunt, and then scored on Adrian Brown's pinch-hit infield groundout.

MVSU (7-30) 000 010 000 - 1-2-1
MSU (18-11-1) 101 202 50x - 11-15-0
WP - Ryan Carroll (1-0). LP - Trey Wall (0-9). HR - Enrico Jones (1). T - 2:23. ATT - 5,939 (paid), 1,319 (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 http://mississippistate.theinsiders.com. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.

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