TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Mississippi State's men's golf team got off to a great start in the Seminole Intercollegiate with a round of 290 and is atop the leaderboard with the Southeastern Conference foe Auburn.
State had two individuals post red numbers to pace the 2-over par round for the squad. Sophomore Noah Goldman turned in a 2-under par round of 70 to lead all MSU competitors. The Longwood, Fla.-product will head into Monday's second round tied for third on the individual leaderboard. Goldman is three shots back of North Carolina State's Brad Revell, who posted a round of 67. Carlos Sainz, Jr. stands one shot back of Goldman after registering a 71.
"We dropped a few shots coming in, but the course was playing tough along with a windy and chilly start this morning," said MSU head coach Clay Homan. "I was pleased with the way we played today."
MState's Brian Mason carded a round of 74 to open the 54-hole event. Mason posted an eagle on the par-5 15th. Sophomore Matt Fast played steady throughout his 18 holes with round of 75. Fast played even-par golf on the back nine, but dropped a few shots on the front nine.
The Seminole Intercollegiate, hosted by Florida State University, features 11 teams that currently rank in the top-50 in the latest Golfweek.com rankings. The field features three other SEC rivals - Ole Miss, Vanderbilt and LSU.
"We have two more days, so we need to keep it up," said Homan.
The Maroon and White will start second-round action at 8 a.m. on Monday. Live stats of the event are available at www.GolfStat.com.
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi State men's tennis team fell behind early and never recovered, dropping a 6-1 decision to #13 Florida Sunday at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre. State fell to 3-5 overall and 0-2 in SEC play while Florida improved to 5-3 overall and 1-1 in league play.
The Gators took the first point of the match, winning on two of the three doubles courts. The first court complete was at the #1 spot, where UF's Jesse Levine and Greg Ouellette topped State's pair of Ivan Bjelica and Artem Kuznetsov 8-5. The Gators clinched the point when their team of Nestor Briceno and Geoffrey Barton defeated State's Ryan Farlow and Pjotrs Necajevs 8-6. The remaining match on court #2 went to a tiebreaker before it was decided. In that match, MSU's tandem of Edouard Benchetrit and Philippe Frayssinoux came from a break down to defeat UF's Dan Cash and Billy Mulligan 8-7(4).
Florida's momentum quickly grew early in singles play. The Gators took a 2-0 advantage when UF's 45th-ranked Levine downed State's 38th-ranked Bjelica 6-0, 6-4 on court #1. Moments later, Florida's Jordan Dolberg closed out State freshman Benchetrit 6-4, 6-2 on court #4 to give UF a 3-0 lead. The clinching point for the Gators came moments later on court #4 where UF's Mulligan defeated State's Kuznetsov 6-4, 6-4. Florida took a 5-0 lead when Florida's 19th-ranked Ouellette held on to beat State's Frayssinoux in three sets, 6-4, 2-6, 6-1. MSU sophomore Farlow gave State their lone point of the day, defeating UF's Barton 6-4, 6-2 on court #6. The Gators earned the last point of the match when UF's 99th-ranked Briceno rallied to defeat State's Necajevs 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 on court #3.
With the win, Florida now leads the overall series with MSU 26-14. State's Farlow moved to 5-1 in dual matches this season with the win on Sunday. The Bulldogs dropped the doubles point for the sixth time in eight matches this season on Sunday.
State's next action will come next weekend when they travel to face Auburn and Alabama. Friday's match with the Tigers is set for 1:30 p.m. while Sunday's matchup with Alabama is slated for 1 p.m.
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - Mississippi State got strong pitching and timely hitting to defeat Austin Peay, 2-0, in the final game of the UT-Chattanooga Frost Classic. The Bulldogs (13-8) end the tournament with a 3-2 record.
MSU got off to a slow start, as Austin Peay starter Natasha Anderson struck out six of the first eight Bulldog hitters. But, State pitchers Kelsey Nurnberg and Sara Hickerson held the Lady Govs in check.
MState got to Anderson in the fourth. Nakita Boyce led off with a single, and Courtney Bures was hit by a pitch. Sammie Jo Bailey then put the first pitch through the left side, driving home Boyce with the game's first run. Bures then stole third, and Fallon Fetts throw got past the third baseman, allowing Bures to head home, giving MSU a 2-0 lead.
Sara Hickerson (2-2) earned the victory for the Bulldogs. Kelsey Nurnberg picked up her first career save. The duo combined to allow just two APSU hits. Anderson struck out 11 in the loss.
Mississippi State returns home for two midweek games against Indiana State (March 6, 4 p.m.) and Samford (March 7, 3 p.m.) before heading to Alabama to start conference play March 10-11.