Bulldogs put smackdown on Gamecocks

Brett Pirtle is greeted at home plate by Wes Rea and other teammates after his three-run homer against South Carolina on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Hal Yeager)

Brett Pirtle is greeted at home plate by Wes Rea and other teammates after his three-run homer against South Carolina on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Hal Yeager)

Mississippi State's Trevor Fitts got the start but was lifted in the third inning Wednesday. (AP Photo/Hal Yeager)

Mississippi State’s Trevor Fitts got the start but was lifted after two innings Wednesday. (AP Photo/Hal Yeager)

By Logan Lowery

Daily Journal

HOOVER, Ala. – Mississippi State has struggled offensively at times this season.

Wednesday night against South Carolina was not one of those occasions.

The Bulldogs erupted for eight runs in the top of the seventh inning to run-rule the fourth-seeded Gamecocks 12-0 on Day 2 of the Southeastern Conference Tournament.

MSU sent 14 batters to the plate in the seventh inning, collecting eight hits off four different pitchers. The biggest blow came on a three-run homer by Brett Pirtle into the bullpen in right field.

“It’s good to see our bats get going like that,” Pirtle said. “It’s always addicting when you get a run and more runs after that start coming. It was good for our ball club. Our whole lineup was phenomenal.”

The Diamond Dogs finished with 14 hits, led by C.T. Bradford, who went 3-for-4 with three singles and a run batted in.

Seth Heck was 3-for-5 with a double and an RBI, while Demarcus Henderson was 2-for-3 with an RBI. Derrick Armstrong went 2-for-4 with two RBI as State improved to 37-20 on the year.

Jacob Lindgren (6-1) picked up the win in relief. The junior southpaw came on for Trevor Fitts in just the third inning and fired four perfect frames with six strikeouts.

“Every hitter I tried to attack with my best stuff,” Lindgren said. “My fastball and slider were working tonight. Gavin (Collins) was calling a heck of a game, and I have to give a lot of credit to him.”

South Carolina (42-15) managed just two hits in the contest. Jordan Montgomery suffered the loss to fall to 7-5 on the year. Montgomery gave up four run on six hits with four walks and a strikeout in 3 2/3 innings.

State advances to take on No. 9 seed Kentucky in the late game Thursday night on CSS.

“This is one win and doesn’t mean anything other than it allows you to advance,” said MSU coach John Cohen. “We will play a really good Kentucky team who can score runs. We’ve got to be ready for them.”

logan.lowery@journalinc.com

Also Wednesday

LSU11, Vanderbilt 1: Jared Poche (9-3) turned in a complete seven-inning victory for the Tigers. Alex Bregman homered and drove in five runs.

Kentucky 4, Florida 2: Kyle Cody (4-0) and Chandler Shepherd combined on a six-hitter against the top seeds.