Johnson, MSU Win Pitchers' Duel 2-1

Senior right-hander Josh Johnson matched career-highs with 11 strikeouts over eight innings Sunday afternoon to lead Mississippi State (10-2) to a 2-1 win over San Francisco (9-8) in the Bulldogs' final game in the 2007 Quala-T Imprints Baylor Classic at Baylor Ballpark.

Johnson (2-0) retired the first 11 batters he faced and allowed but one base-runner to reach second base until losing his shutout in the eighth inning on a leadoff pinch-hit home run by Zack Kim. The Bulldog co-captain scattered four hits and ended seven of his eight innings with strikeouts.

"It was an outstanding pitching performance for Josh against a very fine San Francisco ball club," said MSU skipper Ron Polk. "He was very efficient today, kept his pitch count down, and with 11 strikeouts we didn't have to play a lot of defense behind him."

Freshman Ricky Bowen, in his fifth relief stint of the year, worked a scoreless ninth inning, working around a one-out single and a second base-runner via catcher's interference to register his second save of the campaign.

The Bulldogs did all of their scoring in the fourth inning. Andy Rice and Connor Powers delivered two-out singles and Jeff Flagg tripled off the center field wall to score both MSU runs. State had other scoring opportunities, putting runners on base in all but one inning and stranding five runners in scoring position.

Starter Jason Dufloth (3-2) took the loss, yielding both runs on eight hits in six innings. Cole Stipovich, Chase Tigert and Matt Baugh combined for three innings of scoreless relief for the Dons.

Eight of the nine Bulldog starters had hits, with Flagg leading MSU's 10-hit attack with two hits, a single and the game-winning triple. Edward Easley and Mitch Moreland extended their season-opening hitting streaks to all 12 games with doubles. Senior designated hitter Brian LaNinfa also legged out a two-bagger.

Mitchell Bialosky had two singles for San Francisco.

Mississippi State concludes competition in the Quala-T Imprints Baylor Classic with a 2-1 record and continues its five-game spring break Texas swing Tuesday and Wednesday with games at Texas-Arlington and Dallas Baptist. The Bulldogs open SEC competition at Florida next weekend to wrap up an 11-day, eight-game road run.


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