(Photo Courtesy of Mississippi State Athletics)
The Bulldog bullpen was firing on all cylinders tonight as 3 relievers combined to hold Kent State hitless after the 2nd inning and take the opening game of the weekend series by a score of 8-3. The Bulldogs utilized a 6-run 5th inning to take the lead in the ballgame and never looked back as they improved their record to 7-2, and relegated Kent State to 3-3.
Junior lefty Christian MacLeod (0-1) got the nod for his 3rd start of the season for the Bulldogs. The lefty only lasted 1.2 innings, striking out 4, but ran into trouble in the 2nd and was pulled after giving up 3 runs. He was replaced by Brandon Smith who went 4.1 innings of no-hit baseball. He was followed by Will Bednar, making his first appearance on the year after developing a neck/shoulder injury during the Bulldogs’ season opening trip to Texas. Bednar pitched 1 inning and retired 3 in a row. Bednar gave way to Carlisle Koestler, who pitched the final two innings of no-hit baseball and sealed the win for the home team. The 3 bullpen arms combined for a 7.1 inning no-hitter.
The scoring began in the top of the 1st when Kent State right-fielder Cam Touchette led off the game with a single to center. Ben Carew then laid down a bunt that was misplayed in the field, and a bad throw to 1st base allowed Touchette to advance to 3rd and Carew was safe at 1st. Justin Mikinis then legged out an infield single that allowed Touchette to score and give the Golden Flashes a 1-0 lead. The Bulldogs would answer back in the bottom of the 1st when Rowdey Jordan led off with a triple to left and then scored on a Scotty Dubrule fielder’s choice to square the game up at 1. The tie was short lived though, as Mack Timbrook deposited a ball just beyond the wall in right-field to put the visitors back on top by a score of 2-1. The Flashes weren’t done though, as Kevin Dobos drew a walk and then Cam Touchette legged out and infield single. Ben Carew then walked to load the bases. A wild pitch allowed Dobos to score and extend the lead to 3-1. That would be the last run the Golden Flashes would plate as the Diamond Dawgs then turned to the bullpen to lock down the visitors. The 3-1 score held steady until the bottom of the 5th when the boys in maroon turned the tide. Rowdey Jordan opened the frame with an infield single. Scotty Dubrule then followed with a walk. Tanner Allen then chopped a ball to 2nd that was misplayed, allowing Jordan to score and Dubrule to advance to 3rd, 3-2 Kent State. Logan Tanner then drew a walk to load the bases. Josh Hatcher was then hit by pitch to drive in Dubrule and tie the game at 3. Luke Hancock followed and continued his hot streak by singling to right to score Allen and Tanner and put the Diamond Dawgs on top 5-3 and put runners at the corners. Kameron James then grounded into a fielder’s choice that allowed Hatcher to score and make it a 6-3 game. James then stole second and was plated by a Landon Jordan single to make it a 7-3 ballgame. The Bulldogs would tack on one more run in the bottom of the 8th as Tanner Allen drew a walk and then stole second. He was driven in by a Logan Tanner single to make the score 8-3, which is where it would stay as the Diamond Dawgs sent the maroon faithful home happy on a Friday night.
Brandon Smith (2-0) took the win, allowing 0 runs on 0 hits and striking out 5. Will Bednar struck out 2 and Carlisle Koestler added 4 Ks.
At the plate, Rowdey Jordan recorded 2 hits. Luke Hancock was responsible for 2 RBIs. Logan Tanner recorded 4 BB and also threw out a runner from behind the dish. The Bulldogs stole 6 bases as a team on the night.
Collin Romel (0-2) took the loss for Kent State.
The Diamond Dawgs return to the diamond tomorrow for game 2 against Kent State. First pitch is at 2 pm CT.
Recap and Box Score can be found here