State Sweeps Memphis

Mississippi State, after winning the Tuesday night game 9-8, defeated Memphis 11-9 Wednesday night to sweep the two-game series. Redshirt freshman righthander Ricky Bowen picked up the save Wednesday night after recording the victory Tuesday.

"I was a little tight because I have thrown a lot lately and sometimes you have to battle with what you have," said Bowen. "That's pretty much what I had to do tonight. And I got the job done. I guess that's what important."

The game started off with Mississippi State scoring six runs in the first two innings.

In the bottom of the first, the Bulldogs scored one run when Mitch Moreland doubled in Brandon Turner to go ahead 1-0.

The 'Dogs added five more runs in the second inning to go ahead 6-0.

Joseph McCaskill started the inning with a walk. Connor Powers followed with a single. Then, Andy Rice singled in McCaskill. Goforth continued the inning with another single, knocking in Powers for the second run of the inning. Brandon Turner, after Jeffrey Rea flew out to left field, singled home Rice. Memphis replaced starting pitcher Dylan Cupples with Brennon Martin. Easley greeted him with a base hit through the left side, scoring Goforth. Mitch Moreland walked, loading the bases for Brian LaNinfa. Like Moreland, LaNinfa walked forcing in Turner for the fifth run of the inning. Martin got McCaskill, the 10th hitter in the inning, to hit into a inning-ending double play.

Memphis finally got on the scoreboard with three runs in the top of the fourth.

Kyle Norrid, with one out, homered down the left field line to score the first run of the inning. The next two batters, Michael Murray and Adam Amar, singled and was hit by a pitch. After Jesse Carver struck Ben Grisham out looking, Alex Fennell singled to left field to score Murray. K.K. Chalmers also singled, knocking in Amar for the third run of the inning. Greg Houston replaced Carver on the mound and got Will Petersen to ground out to short for the final out of the inning.

Memphis added another run in the next inning when Joey Lieberman, on a 2-2 pitch, homered to left field to make the game 6-4, MSU.

In the 6th inning, State brought in John Lalor to pitch. He shut the Tigers out for the next two innings.

Lalor was replaced in the top of the 7th with Chad Crosswhite.

The first Memphis runner reached on an infield single. After the next batter struck out swinging, Eric Farrell hit a ball through the right side to put men on first and second. Grisham then hit a deep flyball to center field that ended Crosswhite's time on the mound. Closer Mitch Moreland replaced him and got the next hitter, Josh Irvin, to strike out, ending the inning.

Memphis finally replaced Martin, who silence the Bulldogs bats for 4.2 innings, in the bottom of the seventh with reliver Neil Schenk.

Schenk had an easy 7th, but the Bulldogs jumped on him in the 8th.

The inning started off like the 7th ended. The first two Bulldog hitters struck out and grounded out. Then, Turner and Easley singled and moved to second and third on a wild pitch. Moreland singled both in to put MSU ahead 8-4. After LaNinfa walked, Nick Hardy hit a long home run over the left field wall to score three more runs, including what turned out to be the game-winner. Memphis replaced Schenk with Chris Novikoff. And after walking pinch-hitter Michael Rutledge, he ended the inning by getting Cade Hoggard to ground out to first base.

"At the time I didn't think we would need (Hardy's home run), but we did," said MSU head coach Ron Polk. "This Memphis team has veteran players, seven or nine seniors, and had a good season last year. I knew their lineup would be tough for us in the mid-week ballgames and that proved to be the case."

As they proved in the top of the ninth.

Chalmers started the 9th with a double. He advanced to third on a wild pitch. Petersen knocked him in with a flyout to right field. An infield hit by Moss and a walk to Lieberman put men on 1st and 2nd with one out. Moreland then got Norrid to strike out. But Murray singled in Moss to keep the rally going. Farrell scored Lieberman and Murray on a single. After Grisham followed him with a single, State replaced Moreland with Bowen. Chris Kirkland greeted him with a run-scoring single, but Bowen ended the threat by getting Chalmers to line out to center field to end the inning and the game.

"Tonight was a little crazy and I didn't expect to get in, but things didn't go our way (in the 9th inning)," said Bowen. "But it's always great to get out (on the mound) and play with these guys behind you."

Bowen picked up the save for Bulldogs, his third of the year. He has a 3-0 record with 3 saves in 12 appearances. Lalor earned the victory to go to 2-0 on the season. He threw 2.0 innings, allowing no runs on no hits and one walk, while striking out 3.

Carver, in his first career start as a Bulldog, threw 3.2 innings, allowing 3 runs (2 earned) on 4 hits and 3 walks. He struck out 4.

"We were trying to get four or five innings out of (Carver)," said Polk. "And he had three innings of no-hit ball, but his command is still up in the air sometimes. He gave up the home run and that may have caused him to lose some concentration. Plus, he probably got a little tired because this is the most innings he's thrown in a long time."

State was led in hitting by Brandon Turner and Mitch Moreland, both of whom had three hits each in the game. Connor Powers had two hits.

Memphis had three players with more than a hit. Michael Murray was 3-for-4 and K.K. Chalmers and Eric Farrell had two hits each.

Mississippi State improved to 16-6, while Memphis is now 14-11 for the season.

State's next activity is this weekend when they face Kentucky in a three-game SEC series at Dudy Noble Field.

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the Dawgs' Bite, Powered by website, the source for Mississippi State sports on the sports network. You can contact him by emailing

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