No. 1 MSU Defeated UAB 10-3

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State (16-0) scored nine times in the first three innings and rolled to a 10-3 win over UAB (13-8) on a chilly Tuesday night at Dudy Noble Field. The victory extended the No. 1-ranked Bulldogs' school-record season-opening win streak to 16 games and broke the school record for overall consecutive wins. The win also gave the Bulldogs a sweep of their two-game season series with UAB.

"I'm really proud of this team," said MSU head coach Ron Polk. "It's not easy to go 16-0. The ball can take some funny bounces some times. But for the most part we've hit, pitched and defended pretty well."

Bulldog starter Matt Lea (3-0) gave up three runs in the second, one on a lead-off home run by Jorge Gutierrez, but settled down to blank the Blazers the remainder of his six-inning stay in the game to pick up the win. Lea, the lone freshman to start for the Bulldogs this season, gave up three runs on six hits, walked three and struck out four.

Jeffrey Rea and Edward Easley drew walks from UAB starter Brandon Flaherty (0-3) to open the Bulldog first inning, and Thomas Berkery and Joseph Hunter followed with run-scoring singles for a 2-0 MSU lead.

UAB took a brief lead with a three-run, four-hit second inning. Ryan Metcalf laced an RBI single through the left side of the infield and Phillip Bell came through with a two-out run-scoring double.

State answered with three runs in the second, two coming home on Joseph Hunter's double down the left field line. Hunter went 2-for-4 and drove in three runs.

The Bulldogs sent eight batters to the plate during a four-run third inning burst that chased Flaherty from the game. Flaherty was charged with seven runs on seven hits with three walks and two strikeouts.

Jeff Butts scored the Bulldogs' final run on a lead-off homerun in the fifth, his second roundtripper of the season.

Thomas Berkery's first-inning single extended his team-leading hitting streak to 13 games, a career-best, while Edward Easley singled twice to run his career-best hitting streak to 11 games.

Zach Ward paced UAB at the plate with two of the Blazers' seven hits. Danny Sawyer singled in the seventh inning to extend his hitting streak to 14 games.

Sophomore John Lalor, who missed a weekend start due to Sunday's rainout against No. 5 Tennessee, worked a scoreless inning of relief while true freshman Aaron Weatherford faced the minimum in his game-closing two-inning relief stint.

The Bulldogs continue their midweek non-conference competition at home Wednesday entertaining Jacksonville State University in a 6:30 p.m. game. Junior right-hander Jon Crosby (2-0, 3.00) is due to start for the Bulldogs.

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