State Outslugs Baylor to win 8-6

WACO, Texas - Mississippi State piled up 16 hits and got solid pitching performances by Justin Pigott and Greg Houston Saturday to lead the Bulldogs to an 8-6 win over the Baylor Bears (11-7) before a season-largest crowd of 3,290 at Baylor Ballpark.

Edward Easley totaled three hits and drove in two runs for MSU (9-2). Easley and Bulldog third baseman Connor Powers each hit solo home runs.

Justin Pigott (2-1) picked up the win, scattering 10 hits and allowing six runs. He left the game in the eighth, giving way to freshman Greg Houston, who allowed one hit in 1-2/3 innings of relief and picked up his first save. Houston struck out three of the fifve batters he faced in the ninth.

State broke on top in the first frame, plating a pair of runs with five consecutive singles off Baylor starter Kendal Volz. Brian LaNinfa and Andy Rice laced run-scoring singles in the frame.

Baylor quickly knotted the score, answering with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning. Ben Booker doubled to left to open the Baylor inning, advanced a base on a fly ball and scored on Aaron Miller's sacrifice fly. The Bears bunched three straight singles to plate the tying second run.

Both teams traded solo home runs in the third. Bulldog catcher Edward Easley launched his third home run of the season, a solo shot to left that gave MSU a 3-2 lead. Baylor evened the score minutes later on Tim Jackson's solo home run to left, his third blast of the year.

In the fourth inning Mark Goforth reached on a fielder's choice groundout, stole second and raced home to give State a 4-3 lead on a Jeffrey Rea single up the middle.

Baylor parlayed a triple, a double, a single and a sacrifice fly into three runs that gave the Bears their first and only lead of the night at 6-4. Chase Grades opened the uprising with a double to right and moved to third on a single by Shaver Hansen. Ben Booker found the gap in right-center field for a two-run triple and came home on a sacrifice fly by Beamer Weems.

State matched the Baylor three-spot and took a 7-6 lead in the top of the eighth. Nine Bulldogs came to the plate in an inning the featured two walks, four singles, a wild pitch, a passed ball and a Baylor throwing error. Easley, Mitch Moreland, Connor Powers abnd Mark Goforth delivered the singles for State.

Powers closed out the scoring two innings later with a massive two-out solo shot over the Baylor scoreboard.

Tim Matthews (0-1), the third of four Baylor pitchers in the game, took the loss. Matthews was charged with three runs on six hits and two walks during his 2-2/3 innings of relief work.

Pigott hit two batters in the eighth inning before ending his stay in the game. Houston got Baylor's Beamer Weems to line into a double play to end the Bears' threat in the inning and worked around a leadoff single in the ninth to close the game.

Tim Jackson had three hits and drove in two runs to lead Baylor.

The Bulldogs close out competition in the three-day tournament Sunday, taking on first-time opponent San Francisco at Noon.

Gene's Page Top Stories