Lacher's Career-Best Performance Leads MSU to Win

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Sophomore right-hander Jeff Lacher enjoyed a career outing Tuesday night, striking out nine over eight innings and leading the Bulldogs (29-22-1) to a 6-1 win over UAB (15-38) at Young Memorial Field.

Lacher (2-2), making his third start of the season, blanked UAB over the first seven innings before giving up a run on two hits in the eighth. The Hattiesburg, Miss., native allowed one run on 10 hits while walking but one batter.

"Lacher has that (good) breaking ball, he just has to get ahead of the count. I think against UAB you just need to throw strikes," said Polk about Lacher's performance. "They haven't been swinging the bats very well."

Chris Young replaced Lacher in the ninth, retiring the three Blazer batters he faced to close out the game.

"I hated to use Chris Young but we pretty much had burned him in the bullpen getting him ready for the times when Jeff was on the ropes," said Polk. "I told Coach Rock since we had already gotten him up so many times he is not going to be able to throw tomorrow."

The Bulldogs jumped on UAB starter Ross Dobbins (3-5) for five runs in the first four innings. Casey Long opened a two-hit outing with an RBI single in the first. Robby Goodson singled and J.B. Tucker doubled to open the third inning and scored on infield groundouts by Matthew Maniscalco and Chad Henry. State struck for two more runs on four hits in the fourth, with Goodson and Henry delivering run-scoring hits.

Goodson went 3-for-4 and drove in two runs while Henry added drove in two runs to lead the Bulldogs at the plate. The Blazers got a 4-for-4 outing by Joe Yarbrough. He broke up MSU's shutout bid in the eighth inning, following a double by Eric Lyon with an RBI single.

The Bulldogs continue their midweek road swing in Birmingham Wednesday, taking on the Samford Bulldogs on the SU campus. MSU junior lefty Joey Collums (3-6) will draw the start in the 6 p.m. game at Joe Lee Griffin Field.

"Samford is a much better team, offensively, than the ballclub we faced tonight," said Polk. "(Joey) needs to go out and compete again. He had a disappointing time Sunday. As I told Joey before the game, he is 6th in the Southeastern Conference in batting average. That shows when he throws strikes he can miss bats. He just has too many walks. Joey is not a 90 to 91 miles per hour guy. He has to locate."

MISSISSIPPI STATE 6, UAB 1
MSU 012 200 010 - 6-11-1
UAB 000 000 010 -1-10-0
WP - Jeff Lacher (2-2). LP - Ross Dobbins (3-5). T - 2:39. ATT - 634.


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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