(Photo Courtesy of Mississippi State Athletics)
The Mississippi State pitching staff gave up 2 runs against Samford, a number that hasn’t been seen in 7 games. Not that 2 runs were low, 2 runs were high for Scott Foxhall’s armada of arms who, in the last 7 games, have been dealing like they’re slinging cards at the Beau Rivage. That, combined with Luke Hancock depositing 2 balls in the lounge, and Josh Hatcher adding a big fly himself, propelled the Bulldogs to a 10-2 victory Tuesday night at Dudy Noble Field. The victory pushed the Diamond Dawgs to 14-3 while dropping Samford to 7-10.
Midweek specialist Houston Harding drew the start for the home team and went 3.1 innings, giving up 0 runs on 4 hits while striking out 2. He was followed by Brandon Smith (3-0) who took the win, Parker Stinnett, Xavier Lovett, Dylan Carmouche, KC Hunt, and Stone Simmons who, with Harding and Smith, combined to give up 2 runs on 7 hits while striking out 9.
The scoring started in the bottom of the 3rd when Josh Hatcher walked and then stole second. He advanced to 3rd on Lane Forsythe’s fly out, and was then scored on a Rowdey Jordan double to make the score 1-0. The Bulldogs added 3 more in the bottom of the 4th when Kamren James walked and stole second. Luke Hancock then stepped to the plate, and Samford pitcher Carson Hobbs committed the cardinal sin of playing the Bulldogs. He let a ball get too much of the plate and Hammer made him pay by depositing the ball deep into the right field bleachers to make the score 3-0. Josh Hatcher then stepped to the plate 1 out later and sent a pitch to the deepest part of the park for a solo bomb, making the score 4-0. See Hancock’s bomb below:
The Diamond Dawgs quelled any hope for a Samford comeback in the bottom of the 6th when Luke Hancock opened the frame with his second big fly of the night, this time a solo job to left-center. See that shot below:
Logan Tanner then singled and advanced on a wild pitch and headed to 3rd on a Brayland Skinner infield single, his first Bulldog hit. Lane Forsythe then singled to plate Tanner and Scotty Dubrule singled to score Skinner. Rowdey Jordan was then hit by pitch to load the bases with 1 out. Tanner Allen reached on a fielder’s choice, plating Forsythe. Kamren James singled to score another run, and a Kace Garner walk pushed across the last run of the frame, leaving the home team on top 10-0. Samford would tack on a couple of runs to save face. In the top of the 7th, Towns King doubled and was then scored on a Colton Ledbetter single. They added another run in the top of the 8th when Taylor Garris singled and advanced to 2nd on a groundout and 3rd on a wild pitch before scoring on another wild pitch to make the score 10-2, and that’s where the score would hold as the Bulldog faithful departed the Carnegie Hall of College Baseball with smiles on their faces and a 7 game win streak.
At the plate, Luke Hancock clearly led the charge, going 2-4 with 2 home runs and 3 RBIs and a walk. Josh Hatcher added a homer and a walk, and Scotty Dubrule drew 3 walks and plated a run with an RBI single.
Blake Bortak (0-1) took the loss for Samford.
This marks the final game for the M Over S before they begin conference play in Baton Rouge on Friday night against the Tigers of LSU. When asked about his feelings on his team headed into SEC play, Coach Chris Lemonis said, “You would always like to be undefeated, but we had a couple of tough games. It has been a good start. We have challenged our group. We went on the road and played in that great [College Baseball Showdown]. We have played some good competition and some good midweeks. We have had the chance to learn a lot about our team. We like where we are at right now. We are excited to go down to Baton Rouge. We know it will be tough. It’s always tough to get a win out of there. That is SEC play, we are ready to go.”
The win shirt on the night went to The Hammer, Luke Hancock for his 2 home run night.
The Bulldogs will open SEC play with the LSU tigers at 6pm CT Friday night at Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge, LA.
Recap and Box Score can be found here
Now to the music portion of the article. In honor of Houston “Hootie” Harding making the start, how about some Hootie and the Blowfish