By Logan Lowery
STARKVILLE – Sunday’s 7-2 baseball victory over Western Carolina not only secured the opening series for Mississippi State, but it was also a milestone win for its head coach.
John Cohen earned his 500th career victory, 179 of which have come at his alma mater.
“All that means is I’m getting older,” said Cohen, who’s 47. “I’ve been around some great players and some great coaches and I’m advancing in age.”
The Diamond Dogs took two of three from Western Carolina on the weekend after its initial four-game series with Hofstra was cancelled due to weather.
State had just four hits Sunday but took advantage of 10 walks and two hit batsmen. Brett Pirtle had the biggest hit for the Bulldogs with a bases-loaded triple into the right field corner sparking a five-run third inning.
“I was just staying simple, really,” Pirtle said. “(Western Carolina starter T.J. Fussell) was throwing a first pitch change-up to lefties with people on base so I wasn’t surprised when he threw a change-up low and in. I just kind of let it loose.”
Demarcus Henderson also added a double and scored two runs for Mississippi State.
Loads of arms
The Diamond Dogs sent six hurlers to the mound on Sunday, with Ben Bracewell taking the win in relief. Bracewell went 11⁄3 shutout innings allowing a hit and two walks while recording a pair of strikeouts.
Freshman starter Dakota Hudson lasted four frames in his first outing giving up a run on four hits with two strikeouts.
“It was a great experience to throw on this stage,” Hudson said. “It was fun out there.”
Fussell suffered the loss, allowing five runs on three hits with nine strikeouts and three walks in five innings of work.
The Catamounts scattered nine hits on the day led by Aaron Attaway, who went 3 for 5 with a double. Jacob Hoyle went 2 for 4 with a solo homer.
MSU hosts Memphis at 4 p.m. on Wednesday.