After a successful weekend in the Lone Star State, Mississippi State (3-1) returned home for the first time in almost a year last night in a 7-3 win over Jackson State (0-4). For a quick game recap, feel free to visit Zachary Treadway’s terrific article that will be linked down below. However, with this article, it’s my goal to give an in depth statistical analysis of what was a terrific day all around for the Starkville 9.
Efficiency on the Bump
The first major note for the Bulldogs was their efficiency on the mound. 65% of the Bulldogs pitches landed in the zone, an impressive number for a game in which the State pitchers didn’t have much time to settle in on the mound. In total, the Dogs only threw 124 pitches between the entire staff, with each pitcher throwing in short enough appearances to set up for an appearance over the weekend. This could be crucial for MSU too, as the status of MSU’s weekend starters is up in the air.
Last night, when asked about the status of Eric Cerantola and Will Bednar, skipper Chris Lemonis responded with the following:
Lemonis: “We’ll know more on Friday. So, we’ve got to get through everything and get through Friday. They’re still progressing, but we’re still TBAing those spots for the weekend.”
The Bulldog pitching staff shined, despite the three runs on the final ledger. The Bulldogs held Jackson State to just two hits over 9 innings, at one point keeping 15 straight batters off base for JSU. If the performance exhibited by the Dogs on the mound holds up against tougher opponents, they could be a very dangerous ball club.
Timely Hitting Pays Off
The efficiency continued in the batter’s box and the basepaths. State burned the infield dirt, coming up with 5 stolen bases, including a double steal that plated a run. When hitting in critical situations, MSU also delivered. Thanks to the efforts of players like Kamren James and Tanner Allen, State batted an impressive .333 with 2 outs, .522 in advancement opportunities, and .625 in lead off at bats. The timely hitting really shone throughout the game, and allowed the Bulldogs to hold a comfortable lead for the inexperienced pitchers that took the mound.
Areas to Improve
The biggest criticism for the Dogs would come in unforced errors. 4 Wild Pitches and 3 fielding errors were the cause of Jackson State’s runs. After a series in Texas where control on the mound came into question, State only marginally improved, making it crucial that they get the work needed to take care of things against Tulane. Lemonis specifically mentioned cleaning things up during his post game press conference, so this will clearly be the plan ahead of the series against the Green Wave.
Players of the Game
We’ll close this analysis with some positive marks for the Bulldog faithful, in their two players of the game.
The player of the game for the Mississippi State offense is SS Kamren James. James came into this one with a .064 Batting Average, and yet still hit in the 4th hole. Lemonis’ faith came through last night, as James had a four hit day, only a triple away from the cycle. The three RBI’s and one stolen base that came with were also an added bonus. James stood out above and beyond with a terrific performance. He’ll look to keep that up on Friday and continue the positive trend.
On the mound, the Bulldogs were elevated by Freshman Davis Rokose. Rokose pitched 2 innings of this bullpen game for the Dogs, and stood out with an impressive 4 strikeouts. He wasted no pitches, peperring 16 of his 23 in for a strike and went above and beyond, paging him for Player of The Game honors. Look for him to be a bigger part of the MSU staff down the line.
The Bulldogs will continue their homestand when they take on Tulane on Friday in a three game series. The OmaDawgs are back and rolling at the New Dude.
Zachary Treadway Game Recap: https://southernslamsbaseball.com/2021/02/24/kameron-james-shines-as-bulldogs-open-homestand-with-win/
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