Mississippi State Defeats UNO, 7-2

10th ranked Mississippi State (10-1-1) defeated the University of New Orleans (11-7), 7-2, in New Orleans Tuesday night. The win by the Bulldogs broke an 8-game winning streak by the Privateers.

The big inning for the Bulldogs was the seventh when they scored four runs on four hits. The key hit of the inning was a pinch-hit double by redshirt freshman Brad Jones that drove in two runs. True freshman Jeff Butts and redshirt freshman Craig Tatum also drove in runs during the inning.

Jonathan Papelbon, who relieved MSU starting pitcher Brad Corley in the fifth inning, earned the victory. Papelbon goes to 3-0 on the young season.

Saunders Ramsey finished the game for the Bulldogs by throwing the final two innings of the game.

The Bulldogs picked up 7 runs on 13 hits and stranded 10.

Four freshmen recorded 7 of the 13 hits. Brad Corley was 4-for-5 with 1 RBI at the plate as the DH. Catcher Craig Tatum was 3-for-4 with a sacrifice fly, two RBI and a run scored. Jeff Butts and Brad Jones had a hit apiece.

"It is very unusual for Mississippi State, but that's our future," said MSU coach Ron Polk, referring to the freshmen hitters. "They are going to get better and better."

Brad Corley went 4.2 innings, allowing 2 runs (both earned) on 2 hits and 6 walks while striking out 5.

"Brad Corley competed well," said Polk. "He didn't have great command. He struck out 5 and walked 6. We got him a little lead and he started walking people."

UNO picked up 2 runs on 4 hits while stranding 11.

"New Orleans left 11 on base, so they had opportunities in the ball game," said Polk. "It seemed like everytime they had guys on base, we would get a strikeout or make a play on defense." Brandon Kling, now 1-3 on the season, took the loss for New Orleans.

"They were 11-6 coming in and had their ace, Brandon Kling, going," said Polk. "He's struggled this year but his numbers last year were awesome."

MSU and New Orleans conclude the two-game series Wednesday at 3 p.m. Lacher (0-0, 4.50) will start for the Bulldogs while the Privateers will counter with Chris Bourgeois (1-1, 3.63). Teams are hitting just .171 against Bourgeois.

"(Wednesday) will be a tough day," said Polk. "We are going to give some young pitchers an opportunity. Jeff Lacher will start tomorrow. I'm sure Jamie Gant will be given an opportunity to pitch. We are going to have to throw some lefthanders out there because it is a predominately left-handed hitting ball club."

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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