MSU Sweeps MVSU With 11-5 Victory

STARKVILLE, Miss. - A three-run triple by Mississippi State's Cody Freeman broke open a tight game late as the Bulldogs held off Mississippi Valley State, 11-5 in college baseball action Wednesday afternoon at Dudy Noble Field.

Freeman's blast highlighted a five-run eighth inning allowing the hosts to expand a precarious one-run advantage.

With the two game midsweep of the Delta Devils, the Bulldogs improved to 7-7. MSU has now won all 17 series meetings against MVSU. The Delta Devils fell to 6-6.

For the Bulldogs, Andy Wilson (1-0) recorded the win in his first career start. Wilson pitched four innings, allowing three hits and two runs (one earned), with three strikeouts and no walks. Greg Houston, Michael Busby and John Lalor worked in relief for the Bulldogs. The MSU bullpen only allowed three hits and three runs (one earned), with four walks and four strikeouts.

MVSU opened the scoring with two runs in the first inning Wednesday. Bennie Holcey had an RBI single with the other running scoring on a groundout after a Bulldog error.

The hosts tied the game with two runs in the third inning. Freeman began the inning with the first of his two extra base hits - a double to right field. Grant Hogue folllowed with a single to center field. A bases-loaded walk to Andy Rice produced the first run and a MVSU fielding error tied the game.

An inning later, the Bulldogs took the lead for good with three runs. Connor Powers walked, stole second and scored the go-ahead run on an RBI double by Jet Butler. After Hogue drew a walk, Russ Sneed singled Butler home. An RBI single by Jason Nappi capped the inning.

The Delta Devils pulled within 5-4 with two runs in the fifth inning and within 6-5 with a single run in the sixth inning.

The five-run MSU eighth inning removed all doubt from the contest.

In that at-bat, Hogue walked and stole his third base of the game, by taking second base. After a sacrifice bunt attempt by Sneed, Jason Nappi drew a walk. Tyler Moore doubled to center, plating Nappi and Hogue. Another pair of walks preceded Freeman's blast right in front of the center field wall.

For the 12th time in 14 games, the Bulldogs had double-digit hits, pounding out 10 total hits. Freeman, Butler, Nappi and Hogue each had multiple hits. For Freeman, it was his fourth double of the year and his second three-RBI game in the series. The true freshman catcher was 4-of-9 in the series with seven RBI. Hogue increased his Southeastern Conference league-leading stolen base total to 12 with his three thefts. The former Pearl River Community College standout, has also now hit safely in a team-best 11 straight games.

The Delta Devils finished with six hits. Paul Olson had two hits and two RBI for MVSU.

Starting pitcher Joel Gafford (0-1) took the loss. Gafford pitched 4-1/3 innings, allowing four hits and five runs (three earned), with six walks and three strikeouts. Chris Mills and Brandon Dotson also pitched in relief for the Delta Devils.

MSU concludes its 14-game homestand by opening SEC play against fifth-ranked in-state rival Mississippi. The Bulldogs and Rebels are scheduled to play at 3 p.m. Friday, 6 p.m. Saturday and 1:30 p.m. Sunday. The Sunday MSU-UM contest will be broadcast regionally by Comcast Sports Southeast.

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