Recapping No. 3 MSU’s 4-2 win over Central Arkansas at Dudy Noble Field on Friday.
• The buzz: Starting pitcher Jacob Lindgren left after two batters when a line drive bounced off his left knee, but the Bulldogs (17-0) didn’t miss a beat. Myles Gentry, a freshman, worked 4 1/3 innings of relief to get the win, and the offense got the hits to fall the second time through the order. Lindgren was on crutches after the game, but coach John Cohen felt confident that the injury isn’t too serious.
• Big inning: MSU broke through with a run in the fourth, then got separation in the fifth with two runs. Mitch Slauter got it going with a leadoff double, then Demarcus Henderson and Sam Frost stroked RBI singles for a 3-0 lead.
• Key stats: MSU was 3 of 9 with runners in scoring position. UCA was 0 of 3. … State was 3 of 5 with a runner on third base and less than two outs. … The Bears (12-2) committed two errors.
• MSU at the plate: Outfielder Hunter Renfroe had two hits, including a triple, and drove in the game’s first run with a sac fly. … MSU had seven hits. … Alex Detz was robbed of a home run in the first inning but extended his reached-base streak to 13 games.
• UCA at the plate: The Bears had four hits, two of them by Forrestt Allday. … Michael Marietta hit a solo home run in the ninth.
• MSU on the mound: Following Lindgren’s departure, Gentry (1-0) came in and retired the first 10 batters he faced. In 4 1/3 innings, he allowed no runs on no hits with three strikeouts and no walks. … Chad Girodo faced one batter and struck him out. … Will Cox, who’s been a Sunday starter this year, tossed two shutout innings, allowing two hits and striking out three. … C.T. Bradford and Ben Bracewell combined for an inning of work. … Jonathan Holder gave up the homer but worked the ninth for his sixth save.
• UCA on the mound: Starter Caleb McClanahan (3-1) retired the first nine batters he faced and lasted 4 1/3 innings. He was charged with two runs (both earned) on three hits with no strikeouts and no walks. … UCA used five relievers.
• Bottom line: MSU shut down an offense that entered this weekend leading the nation in scoring (9.9 rpg). The fact that MSU’s pitching staff was able to handle Lindgren’s loss is a testament to the depth Cohen has built there. Those pitchers were aided by several nice defensive plays, particularly by Frost at third base and shortstop Adam Frazier.
• Quotable: “Butch (Thompson, pitching coach) and I both are thinking, a seven-man right-handed lineup, and Gentry can live off his fastball. They’re such a patient club, and we were hoping Myles could get some early action and get some balls on the infield.” – Cohen