Bulldogs annihilate Vanderbilt in opener

Published 1:00 am Saturday, March 22, 2014

If Mississippi State was in any sort of slump earlier this season, it sure seems to have pulled out of it.

The Bulldogs scored multiple runs in each of the first three innings Friday night, added three more in the fifth inning, and routed Vanderbilt 17-2 at Dudy Noble Field.

It was Mississippi State’s (16-8, 3-1 Southeastern Conference) fifth win in six games, and certainly its most convincing.

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Seth Heck went 2-for-2 with four RBIs and three runs scored, Wes Rea was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and three runs scored, and Zack Randolph drove in three runs for the Bulldogs.

Vanderbilt’s pitchers issued nine walks and their defense committed five errors. Mississippi State scored four runs in the first inning, two more in the second and five in the third to take an 11-1 lead.

Preston Brown (3-0) allowed two runs and one walk in eight strong innings to earn the win.

 Ole Miss 4, Missouri 3

Austin Anderson hit a two-run homer in the first inning and Sikes Orvis added a solo shot two batters later to power Ole Miss (19-4, 2-2 SEC) to a win over Missouri (11-10, 1-3).

Anderson and Braxton Lee had two hits apiece for Ole Miss, and Will Allen had an RBI single in the third inning to put the Rebels ahead 4-0.

Chris Ellis (4-0) struck out five batters in a 71⁄3 innings of shutout ball to earn the win. Josh Laxer pitched the last 12⁄3 innings for his third save of the season.

Missouri scored twice in the eighth inning to get within a run, but Laxer escaped the jam when he struck out Dylan Kelly and Jordan Getzelman was thrown out trying to steal home. Laxer then worked around a two-out single in the ninth inning to nail down the victory.

“Josh (Laxer) was terrific, and I’m really proud of him,” Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco said. “He’s done that basically the whole year. We didn’t want to go to him that early. With a 4-1 lead, we were hoping to extend the lead. We looked like we were in pretty good control of it, but it spiraled out very quickly. Three hitters later the winning run was coming to the play, so we had to go to Josh with an out in the eighth. You can’t be much better than what he did.

 Southern Miss 6, UTSA 2

Christian Talley struck out 12 batters and didn’t issue a walk in a complete-game victory as Southern Miss (11-11, 3-1 Conference USA) beat Texas-San Antonio (15-7, 2-2) in the series opener in Hattiesburg.

Talley (1-1) registered USM’s first complete game of the season. He gave up five hits, all of them in the first five innings. He retired 14 of the last 15 batters he faced, with one runner reaching base on an error.

“He threw everything for strikes and covered nine innings on 101 pitches,” Southern Miss coach Scott Berry said. “Talley had a great mix with his pitches with the biggest thing being no walks and 12 strikeouts. He was really outstanding.”

Mason Robbins drove in two runs with a triple in the fifth inning for Southern Miss. Matt Durst had two hits, and Nick Dawson was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a run scored.

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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