When Coach Chris Lemonis took to the podium following the Bulldog’s 9-5 loss to Kent State on Saturday, you could tell that the skipper was unhappy with the performance his team had put on in the defeat. After the previous two losses, one to TCU and one to Tulane, the Bulldog boss wasn’t joyous, but the agitation level was noticeably higher on Saturday evening. Undoubtedly whatever transpired in the Mississippi State locker room following that press conference lit a fire under the Diamond Dawgs who stormed out looking like a brand-new team in Sunday’s 13-0 defeat of Kent State, in which the Bulldogs used 4 pitchers to no hit their opponent for the first time since 1999. The offense provided 13 runs on 16 hits and really never looked like anything but the aggressor.
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In today’s postgame, which was a much more joyous affair, Coach Lemonis stated that he felt his ball team “Played their worst game of the year the day before and then followed it up with their best game.”
Sunday saw Coach Lemonis toy with the Bulldog lineup, moving Scotty Dubrule to leadoff, moving Kamren James to third base, and starting freshman Lane Forsythe at shortstop.
Freshman Jackson Fristoe (1-0) drew his 3rd start on the year for the M Over S and had, arguably, the best start by a Bulldog pitcher all year. The righty pitched 6 innings, giving up 0 runs on 0 hits and striking out 8. Fristoe had a perfect game intact when he was lifted at the end of the 6th inning.
The scoring was all maroon on the day and it happened early and often. The Boys in Maroon opened the scoring in the bottom of the 1st when newly appointed leadoff man Scotty Dubrule drew a walk and Rowdey Jordan followed with a walk of his own. Kamren James then provided a 1 out single to plate Dubrule and give the home team a 1-0 lead. The Bulldogs added another run in the bottom of the 2nd when Logan Tanner singled to open the frame and then Josh Hatcher singled to move Tanner to 3rd. Drew McGowan then plated Tanner on a sacrifice fly to make a 2-0 ballgame. The Diamond Dawgs added a run for the 3rd consecutive inning in the bottom of the 3rd when Rowdey Jordan drew another walk and then advanced to 3rd before scoring on a 2 out wild pitch to extend the Bulldog lead to 3-0. The home team added multiple runs in the same inning for the first time in the game in the bottom of the 5th when Tanner Allen reached on a fielder’s choice. Then Kamren James lined a ball over the wall in left to plate both he and Allen and push to lead to 5-0. The Bulldogs began to bust it open in the bottom of the 6th when Josh Hatcher drew a walk and Lane Forsythe singled. Hatcher then advanced to 3rd on a wild pitch and was plated by a Scotty Dubrule single to make it 6-0. Tanner Allen then provided an RBI with a single to score Forsythe. Kamren James then doubled to plate Dubrule and Allen and make the score 9-0. Whatever prayer Kent State had at a comeback disappeared in the bottom of the 7th as the Bulldogs added 4 more runs to put the final nail in the coffin. It began with pinch hitter Kyte McDonald doubling and then scoring on a Brandon Pimentel single. Lane Forsythe then reached on a fielder’s choice and advanced to 3rd on a Rowdey Jordan single. Brad Cumbest was then hit by a pitch to load the bases. Landon Jordan then lined a single just inside the 1st base bag to plate 2 and make it a 12-0 ball game. The final run of the contest came off the bat of Kace Garner in his first plate appearance for the M Over S. He singled to left to plate Cumbest and make the score 13-0, which is where it would stay as the Bulldog faithful were able to end their weekend on a high note and depart from The Dude much happier than the day before.
The Diamond Dawgs used 4 arms to no-hit the Golden Flashes. Jackson Fristoe started and was credited with the win. Landon Sims followed him, pitching 1 inning, walking 1 and striking out 2. Mikey Tepper followed Sims, striking out 3 in 1.2 innings, and Cam Tullar came in with 2 outs in the 9th and induced a popup that was snagged by Forsythe in a SportsCenter Top 10 worthy play to end the contest.
At the plate, Kamren James contributed 3 hits and 5 RBIs. Rowdey Jordan, Lane Forsythe, and Josh Hatcher each had 2 hit days. Tanner Allen added a single to extend his on-base streak to 11 games. Landon Jordan came off the bench to chip in 2 RBIs as well.
Along with Forsythe’s 9th inning snag Drew McGowan also provided his own entry for Top 10 consideration with a fully extended diving snag in the top of the 4th, see both plays below:
The Bulldogs get to stay at The Carnegie Hall of College Baseball through next Sunday, as the host Grambling State on Tuesday and Louisiana-Lafayette Wednesday. First pitch for both games is 6 pm CT. The Bulldogs then end the non-conference weekend schedule next weekend playing host to Eastern Michigan.
Recap and Box Score can be found here