(Photo Courtesy of Mississippi State Athletics)
In the words of Aerosmith front man Steven Tyler, “The train kept ‘a rollin’”, and the Bulldogs kept that train rolling Tuesday night in a 10-0 thumping of Grambling State at Dudy Noble Field. The 2-hit victory was Mississippi State’s second shutout in a row and improved the Diamond Dawgs to 9-3 on the season, while dropping the Tigers to 0-8.
Will Bednar (ND) drew the start. The sophomore from Valencia, PA was coming off of a neck/shoulder issue that kept him benched the first two weeks of the year. The righty went 2 innings, giving up 1 hit and striking out 5. He was followed by a squad of Bulldog pitchers, each throwing 1 inning as Coach Chris Lemonis used this contest to get reps for his uber-deep bullpen. Dylan Carmouche (1-0) took the win after coming in in relief of Bednar. He was followed in order by Riley Self, KC Hunt, Xavier Lovett, Parker Stinnett, Jaxen Forrester, and Drew Talley. The Bulldog arms combined to give up 0 runs on just 2 hits, and struck out 13.
Scoring started slow for the Boys in Maroon, but once it started, it spread like wildfire. The first run came across in the 3rd when a Rowdey Jordan sacrifice fly plated Brad Cumbest, who had opened the inning with a single. The Dawgs added 5 runs in the 5th when a Scotty Dubrule single plated both Brad Cumbest and Lane Forsythe. Dubrule was then scored by a Rowdey Jordan double, and that set the table for Tanner Allen. On the first pitch of the at-bat, Tanner Allen deposited a ball to the deepest part of Dudy Noble Field to put the Dawgs up 6-0. See that home run below:
The Bulldogs would tack on 3 more in the bottom of the 6th when 3 bases loaded walks increased the lead to 9-0. The home team would tack on 1 more run in the bottom of the 7th for good measure as a Tanner Allen bases loaded groundout plated Drew McGowan to seal the game at 10-0 and send the Dudy Noble Faithful home happy on a Tuesday night.
The Bulldogs used big nights at the plate from Brad Cumbest, who went 3-3, and Lane Forsythe who went 2-3. Team leaders Rowdey Jordan and Tanner Allen led the way as they combined for 7 RBIs, 2 of those coming on Tanner Allen’s home run, his 2nd on the year. Scotty Dubrule also added a pair of RBIs.
Kerry Boykins Jr. (0-1) took the loss for Grambling State.
This is the first time Mississippi State has pitched back-to-back shutouts since 2016 when they blanked Nicholls State and Alcorn State consecutively.
When asked postgame about the resurgence of this team following the Saturday thumping at the hands of Kent State, Tanner Allen said, “Towards the end of the game, I think we were already getting beat pretty bad, I looked at Riley Self and said, “We’ve both been here a long time, I’ll take the hitters, you take the pitchers”.” Whatever transpired between the Bulldog leaders and their teammates had the right effect as these guys look like a different team than that team that took it on the chin to Kent State. Tanner Allen also added his excitement in seeing the amount of young players that are making impacts in big time situations, saying, “Those guys are doing that now, they’re going to be awesome in the future.”
Tanner Allen also had a fantastic diving catch in right field. Check that out below:
Something else I plan to start highlighting is the shirt. After a win, Coach Chris Lemonis gives out a shirt to his player of the game. This shirt for this ballgame went to Brad “Mule” Cumbest who went 3-3 on the night.
The Bulldogs remain at The Carnegie Hall of College Baseball on Wednesday night for a tilt with Coach Matt Deggs and the Ragin’ Cajuns of Louisiana-Lafeyette. First pitch is scheduled for 6 pm CT.
Recap and Box Score can be found here