STARKVILLE – No. 4 Mississippi State’s offense may have been a little shaky to start, but Trevor Fitts was able to keep Western Carolina’s bats cold as well.
The Bulldogs plated three runs in the fourth and eight innings while the junior right-hander mowed down a career-high 11 Catamounts in a 6-1 victory on Saturday, their first of 2014.
“Trevor really set the tone for us today,” said MSU skipper John Cohen. “I thought it was great for him to go out there and navigate the first six innings for us. I thought that was critical. We finally got some balls to fall for us and created a little offense.”
It was also a career-long outing for Fitts, who allowed one run on seven hits and two walks.
“I was just trying to pound the zone,” Fitts said. “I knew the umpire would help me out a lot tonight and (freshman catcher) Gavin (Collins) was great. I was just trying to get in there early with the fastball and establish that.”
All-American closer Jonathan Holder retired all four batters he faced, including a pair of strikeouts, to earn his first save.
MSU collected nine hits on the afternoon to even the series in front of 9,187 fans. Second baseman Brett Pirtle went 2-for-3 while third baseman Alex Detz was 2-for-5 at the dish, each with a pair of singles to lead the Bulldogs.
Right fielder Cody Brown reached base four times with three walks and an RBI triple, his first career hit.
Left fielder Jake Vickerson and first baseman Wes Rea both had clutch two-run singles as well for the Diamond Dogs.
Western Carolina had seven hits and were paced by center fielder Cody Jones, who went 2-for-5.
Jordan Smith suffered the loss lasting 41⁄3 innings allowing three runs on four hits with seven strikeouts and six walks. The Catamounts used nine pitchers in the game.
Game 3 is today at 1:30 p.m. MSU will go with either senior Ben Bracewell or freshman Dakota Hudson on the mound.
Ole Miss 11, Stetson 1: The Rebels’ bats came alive early and the pitching staff turned in another dominant performance as Ole Miss (2-0) put itself in position for a sweep in the season’s opening series.
Christian Trent (1-0) worked 6 innings, allowing one run on three hits with six strikeouts.
Will Allen drove in five runs and scored a run while fellow senior Austin Anderson went 4-for-6 with three runs scored.
Allen and Will Jamison homered for Ole miss.
Game 3 is today at 11 a.m.