No. 2 Mississippi State Baseball Extends Shutout Streak to Three Games with 4-0 Victory over Louisiana Lafayette
STARKVILLE – More than a few pages had to be turned and a litany of results scoured as the No. 2 Mississippi State baseball program was on its way to its third straight shutout victory, 4-0, over Louisiana-Lafayette on Wednesday (March 10) night at Dudy Noble Field.
For the first time since 1976, the Diamond Dawgs have blanked three straight foes and carry a streak of 27 straight scoreless innings into a weekend series with Eastern Michigan. The 76 squad went 29 straight innings during their streak. This is the 10th such streak in school history, with the only longer stretch of shutouts coming during the 1909 season with five straight blankings.
Junior starting pitcher Houston Harding (2-1) set the tone with five innings of work. He scattered three hits, walked one and struck out eight to earn his second straight win. Sophomore Preston Johnson struck out four in two innings of work with one hit allowed. The final two innings went to Landon Sims, who allowed three hits and struck out five.
Overall, the pitching staff piled up 17 strikeouts, scattered seven hits and walked just one batter. It is the ninth straight game for MSU with double-digit strikeouts, which ties for the longest streak since at least 2007 with the 2019 squad that opened the season with nine straight 10-plus K games.
The offense came in the first and sixth innings, as MSU scored two runs in each frame. A wild pitch scored the first run of the game, before a Kamren James sacrifice fly made it 2-0 State. Déjà vu in the sixth inning as a wild pitch accounted for the first run before Luke Hancock capped the scoring with a sacrifice fly.
Josh Hatcher led the offense with a pair of hits, while Tanner Allen moved his hitting streak to 10 games with a sixth inning single. Rowdey Jordan was on base twice and scored a pair of runs. He reached via base hit in the first and walk in the sixth.
Austin Perrin (0-1) took the loss on the mound for ULL with two unearned runs allowed in two innings of work. The Ragin Cajuns out-hit MSU, 7-4, but stranded seven runners on base, hit into the only double play of the game and committed the lone error of the night in the first inning.
Head coach Chris Lemonis
On is his team is starting to find an identity
CL: It’s what’s happening with our whole team. Guys are building off the confidence. The more success we have the more momentum [we get]. It’s just easy to keep it on our side. Our pitchers are feeding off it right now. We usually get a pitchers [batting practice] for a shutout and Spencer Price say he’s is going to be hitting all week after tomorrows practice. I hope nobody pulls a muscle during that. They have done a good job.
On scoring two big runs in the sixth inning
CL: I thought the Rowdey Jordan walk [was a big part]. A lot of our innings are starting with making somebody throw a ball in the strike zone and really competing. Good base running and making different things happen. Tanner Allen stealing brought more pressure. Getting good at bats. That was a really good arm for Louisiana-Lafayette, and I thought Luke Handcock did a really good job staying in there on him.
Scotty Dubrule reached on an error to start the inning before Rowdey Jordan singled to left field. Tanner Allen’s ground out advanced the runners to second and third. Dubrule scored on a wild pitch with one out before Kamren James’ fly out drove in the second run.
Mississippi State 2, Louisiana Lafayette 0
A walk for Rowdey Jordan led off the inning before he advanced to third on an Allen single. Allen stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch, which scored Rowdey Jordan. Luke Hancock’s sacrifice fly capped the scoring as Allen touched home for the fourth run.
Mississippi State 4, Louisiana Lafayette 0
Mississippi State will remain at home for a weekend series against Eastern Michigan beginning on Friday, March 12 at 6 p.m.
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