By Logan Lowery/Special to the Journal
STARKVILLE – No. 13 Mississippi State entered Sunday’s game hoping to avoid being swept at home by seventh-ranked LSU.
But the Bulldogs did more than just salvage the third game of the series. MSU made a statement offensively with a 10-2 victory over the Tigers to earn its first conference win.
“We know we’re still a good ball club and are still playing good,” said MSU first baseman Wes Rea. “When two quality teams are playing each other a ball can roll this way or that way and it swings the game. We’re going to keep playing with confidence.”
MSU (19-4, 1-2) smashed a dozen hits on the day led by second baseman Brett Pirtle’s 3 for 4 effort with three singles and an RBI.
“I started seeing the ball better and barreling up the ball,” Pirtle said. “It all just started working out.”
Rea went 2 for 4 with a double and three RBI while centerfielder C.T. Bradford was 2 for 3 with three RBIs as well. Shortstop Adam Frazier (2 for 5) doubled.
MSU’s starting pitcher, senior right-hander Kendall Graveman (2-1) tossed six innings, allowing one run while scattering seven hits with four strikeouts and three walks.
“I’m really proud of Kendall,” said MSU skipper John Cohen. “He really took our ballclub on his shoulders today and wanted to make a statement for our club and I think he did.”
Graveman also tossed a complete game against the Tigers to win game three in Baton Rouge a year ago.
LSU (18-2, 2-1) finished with 11 hits and had its win streak halted at 12 games.
Mississippi State will be home against Alcorn State on Tuesday then will visit Kentucky for the weekend.