By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal
STARKVILLE – Wes Rea promised a more productive Mississippi State offense, and he wasted no time trying to prove it.
Rea’s two-run home run in the first inning got the 2013 season off and rolling, and it sparked a 16-1 MSU rout of Portland in front of 3,403 at Dudy Noble Field on Friday.
The No. 5 Bulldogs, who hit just .251 last year, banged out 21 hits, and 10 players had at least one RBI. Mitch Slauter had a career-high four hits, while Adam Frazier and Daryl Norris had three apiece.
C.T. Bradford homered and had three RBIs.
“Everybody wants to get off to a good start,” said Rea, who scored three runs. “Of course you want to lead by example and back your words up with example and your on-field play.”
Rea’s homer came on the first pitch he saw from Portland starter Matt McCallister (0-1), a hanging curveball that the big first baseman launched well over the wall in right-center field.
After Portland scored in the top of the second, MSU had a seven-run outburst in the bottom half, highlighted by Trey Porter’s two-run single.
MSU starter Jacob Lindgren (1-0), a sophomore, tossed six innings of one-run ball, allowing five hits and inducing three double-play balls in the first four innings to escape some early trouble.
“I was just really trying to attack their hitters, let my fielders do work,” Lindgren said.
Three State relievers tossed three no-hit innings.
Game 2 is set for 2 p.m. today. MSU will pitch Evan Mitchell against Portland’s ace, Travis Radke, the West Coast Conference freshman of the year in 2012.
“He has an SEC-caliber arm,” MSU coach John Cohen said.
“I think it’s going to be a great test for our ball club.”