STARKVILLE – No. 21 Mississippi State was able to avenge four losses to Vanderbilt last season in a big way on Friday night.
The Bulldogs plated 11 runs in the first three innings to blow past the sixth-ranked Commodores 17-2 to open a three-game series.
“Scores like this don’t happen a lot on Friday nights in the Southeastern Conference,” said MSU coach John Cohen.
MSU (16-8, 3-1) took full advantage of four early Vandy errors. The Bulldogs chased Commodore ace Tyler Beede in 2 2⁄3 innings. Beede (4-2) had surrendered on three earned runs in 311⁄3 innings before Friday.
State got a strong start from sophomore Preston Brown (3-0) – eight innings allowing two runs while scattering seven hits and a walk with three strikeouts.
Zach Randolph“called a great game behind the plate and our infield played spectacular with no errors,” Brown said. “They’re probably the best infield in the nation so that made it real easy to shove it in the strike zone. Plus we had a big lead, so that helps.”
Heck of a game
The Diamond Dogs stacked up 14 hits on the evening led by Seth Heck, who was 2-for-2 with a double and four RBIs.
“Anytime you can put together 14 hits and 17 runs it’s a lot of fun,” Heck said.
Brett Pirtle went 3-for-5 with a double while Wes Rea and Derrick Armstrong each were 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs.
Vanderbilt (19-4, 2-2)had eight hits with Xavier Turner’s double the only extra base hit.
Game 2 is slated for a 7:30 p.m. start on ESPNU. Junior left-hander Ross Mitchell (3-1, 1.50 ERA) will take the mound for Mississippi State, opposed by junior lefty Jared Miller (5-0, 0.57 ERA).