On a warm, sunny afternoon, Mississippi State and Lipscomb, before 1,469 fans, got together at Dudy Noble Field for the first game of a three-game series.

Mississippi State (7-1-1), behind the hitting of sophomore leftfielder Jon Mungle and senior shortstop Matthew Maniscalco, jumped on Lipscomb (4-7) starting pitcher Logan Good early to win 8-1."> On a warm, sunny afternoon, Mississippi State and Lipscomb, before 1,469 fans, got together at Dudy Noble Field for the first game of a three-game series.

Mississippi State (7-1-1), behind the hitting of sophomore leftfielder Jon Mungle and senior shortstop Matthew Maniscalco, jumped on Lipscomb (4-7) starting pitcher Logan Good early to win 8-1.">

MSU Defeats Lipscomb, 8-1

<img src="http://www.genespage.com/images/01players/baseball/2003/jmungle.jpg" align="left" width="125" height="160"> On a warm, sunny afternoon, Mississippi State and Lipscomb, before 1,469 fans, got together at Dudy Noble Field for the first game of a three-game series.<P> Mississippi State (7-1-1), behind the hitting of sophomore leftfielder Jon Mungle and senior shortstop Matthew Maniscalco, jumped on Lipscomb (4-7) starting pitcher Logan Good early to win 8-1.

"The coaches did a good job telling us what (kind of pitching) we were going to see this weekend," said Mungle. "I think tonight's guy was supposedly their number one."

Mungle's three-run home run in the bottom of the third highlighted the hitting attack of the Bulldogs, who recorded 11 hits during the game. Mungle's home run was all MSU junior lefthander Paul Maholm needed.

"Mungle's home run certainly helped us out," said MSU coach Ron Polk. "Anytime Paul has a lead, you feel good about it because you know he is not going to walk too many guys."

Despite the 11 hits, Polk wasn't entirely happy with his ball club's offensive production.

"I didn't think we had a great offensive game," said Polk. "We had too many fly balls. You can't be a good ball club with what I call 'I got it' outs."

After a scoreless first inning, Mississippi State plated the first run of the game on a sacrifice fly by redshirt freshman catcher Craig Tatum that knocked in junior first baseman Matthew Brinson. On a controversial play at second base, Coach Polk was thrown out of the game by base umpire Morris Hodges after arguing a double play call at the end of Tatum's sacrifice fly.

Lipscomb, in the top of the third, scored their only run of the game after loading the bases due to a streak of wildness by Maholm. Maholm, after giving up a hit to the first batter of the inning, hit the next two batters before setting the next three hitters down in order. Among the outs was a run-scoring sacrifice fly by Chris Parker.

Mississippi State jumped back out in front, 4-1, with the home run by Mungle in the bottom of the third. In the inning, Maniscalco hit a double to extend his hitting streak to nine games.

"It was a fastball," said Mungle, explaining what kind of pitch he hit his home run off of. "I was trying to hit a ground ball to get them in and get the job done. He threw me one and I got lucky."

The Bulldogs extended the lead to 6-1 in the fourth with the aid of a wild pitch by Lipscomb's Good and an RBI single by Maniscalco, his second hit of the game.

Jon Mungle, in the bottom of the sixth inning, continued the Bulldog hitting attack, knocking in his career- high 4th RBI. Maniscalco, who was 3-for-4 on the day, also knocked in a run, giving MSU an 8-1 lead after six.

Senior lefthander Brian Owens came in at the beginning of the eight inning, replacing Maholm.

Sophomore right-hand pitcher Saunders Ramsey closed out the game for the Bulldogs, retiring the side in order in the top of the ninth inning.

"(Paul's) pitch count was up so we had Owens and Ramsey come in," said Polk. "Anytime you have a seven-run lead, you feel like you need to throw strikes and that is what those guys did."

Maholm (2-1) allowed 1 run on 2 hits, while striking out season-high 9 batters during his 7 innings of activity.

"Everybody knows how good Paul is," said Mungle. "You feel more comfortable out there playing. It makes everything easier."

Lipscomb was led at the plate by Ryan Boyer's 2 hits in 4 at bats.

Lipscomb starting pitcher Logan Good went 5.2 innings, allowing 8 runs (all earned) on 10 hits and 2 walks. He also recorded 6 strikeouts.

The first-time series between the Bulldogs and the Bisons continues Saturday at Noon and concludes Sunday at 1:30 p.m. Saturday's game will be broadcast by WFCA-FM (107.9) in French Camp, Miss., while Sunday's game has been designated as Scouts Day at Dudy Noble Field. Scouts from area troops will be admitted free to the series finale. SEC and National Pitcher of the week Alan Johnson (2-0, 1.93) is expected to start for the Bulldogs.


Gene Swindoll is the publisher and owner of Gene's Page, the unofficial site for Mississippi State sports since October, 1996. He can be reached by email at swindoll@genespage.com


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