Bulldogs blank Ole Miss in Governor’s Cup

Mississippi State's Jack Kruger (35) rounds third base on his way to a third-inning run on a Nathaniel Lowe single against Mississippi in the Governor's Cup. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Mississippi State’s Jack Kruger (35) rounds third base on his way to a third-inning run on a Nathaniel Lowe single against Mississippi in the Governor’s Cup. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

PEARL – Mississippi State’s pitching trio of Ryan Cyr, Zac Houston and Jacob Billingsley combined on a nine-hit shutout as the fourth-ranked Bulldogs blanked No. 12 Ole Miss 2-0 in the annual Governor’s Cup Tuesday night at Trustmark Park.

Playing before a crowd of 8,542, the Bulldogs completed a two-game sweep at Trustmark Park. MSU will also complete a 3-1 regular-season record against the arch-rival after winning two of three games in a Southeastern Conference series earlier this season.

It was the first shutout in the 10-year history of the Governor’s Cup. The Bulldogs have now thrown six shutouts this season.

“Those guys have been working hard,” MSU assistant coach Wes Johnson said. “Ryan didn’t travel with us this weekend after he pitched well in Biloxi. So his preparation was really good for this start. Proud of the whole staff because they really challenged the hitters and filled the strike zone.”

MSU improved to 28-13-1 overall, while Ole Miss fell to 31-11.

The Bulldogs plated all of the offense they needed with single scores in the first and third innings.

In the first inning, Jake Mangum singled and Nathaniel Lowe walked. Reid Humphreys followed with an RBI-single.

In the third inning, Jack Kruger walked, took second on a wild pitch and scored on a base hit by Lowe.

From there, it would be up to the magic of the MSU pitching staff.

Cyr threw four innings, allowing four hits with one strikeout and two walks. Houston (2-2) followed with 2.2 innings of relief, with three hits allowed and two strikeouts. After stranding two Rebels in the eighth inning, Billingsley then worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning to finish off his first save. In 2.1 innings of work, Billingsley allowed two hits with three strikeouts.

MSU finished with eight hits. Mangum, Lowe and Humphreys each had multiple hits.

J.B. Woodman and Henri Lartigue each had two hits for the Rebels. Starting pitcher Chad Smith (3-4) threw five innings for the Rebels.

MSU remains on the road in the Southeastern Conference for a second straight weekend when it plays at Alabama. The Bulldogs and Crimson Tide are set to meet at 6:30 p.m. Thursday (ESPNU), 7 p.m. Friday (SEC Network +) and 3 p.m. Saturday (SEC Network +).

(From MSU Media Relations)

I have covered Mississippi State in some capacity since 2004 and joined the Daily Journal staff in 2013. I enjoy short walks on the beach, performing concerts in my car and watching professional wrestling.

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