STARKVILLE – Facing elimination from the best-of-five Bulldog World Series, the Maroon team received a three-hit shutout performance on the mound to stay alive.
The mound combination of Lucas Laster, Cole Gordon, Trevor Fitts, Trent Waddell and Levi Mintz blanked their Gray counterparts in a 3-0 victory in Game 3 on Wednesday.
Laster picked up the win in five innings surrendering just two hits while striking out two and walking one.
“Laster pitched really well tonight and threw a bunch of strikes,” said MSU skipper John Cohen. “We need him to be good in order for us to be successful this spring.”
Mintz closed things out with the final two outs to earn the save. The redshirt freshman inherited the bases loaded in the top of the seventh inning but was able to maneuver his way out of the jam.
“Levi has really changed the nature of his arm slot,” Cohen said. “Coach [Butch] Thompson has helped him develop a slider and we’re excited about the progress he has made.”
The Maroon team collected six hits on the afternoon led by right fielder Joey Swinarski, who went 2-for-3 with a pair of singles.
“Joey is a very talented young man,” Cohen explained. “He has a great swing and it’s good to see him get the barrel to the baseball.”
Shortstop Seth Heck added a single and drove in a pair of runs while left fielder Cody Brown led off the game with a triple and later scored.
Freshman right-hander Jesse McCord suffered the loss. McCord lasted three frames allowing a run on four hits with four strikeouts and a walk.
“McCord has a great changeup and he’s getting a ton of swing-and-misses on it,” Cohen said.
Right fielder Jake Vickerson had the only Gray extra base hit with a triple to right in the fourth inning.
Game 4 of the Bulldog World Series is slated for Saturday at 1 p.m. with free admission.