STARKVILLE • No. 10 Mississippi State made the most of the opportunities presented to it by Oregon State in the early innings on Saturday.
Beaver pitchers walked eight batters and hit another during the first three frames which allowed the Bulldogs to plate four runs en route to a 7-4 victory to take the series in front of a February record crowd of 12,034 at Dudy Noble Field.
“We did a better job (at the plate) and competed,” said MSU coach Chris Lemonis. “They accepted the challenge a little bit. A lot of the strikeouts the day before were due to a really good starting pitcher.”
After an RBI single by Brandon Pimentel in the first inning, Oregon State (2-4) walked in three more runs in the second. The Beavers also drilled pinch hitter Tanner Allen with the bases loaded in the fourth frame to tack on another run.
In all, the Diamond Dogs (5-0) drew 11 walks from the five pitchers Oregon State ran out to the mound. Mississippi State also had seven hits, led by Landon Jordan going 2 for 4 with a pair of singles and a Josh Hatcher solo home run.
“Today we had a better plan and approach and just stuck to it and it worked out,” Hatcher said.
Christian MacLeod improved to 2-0 in a five-inning start. MacLeod surrendered a pair of runs on five hits while striking out seven and walked one.
MSU will go for the sweep today at 1 p.m. with sophomore right-hander Eric Cerantola (1-0, 0.00 ERA) taking the bump. The Beavers will counter with junior righty Nathan Burns (0-0, 3.00).
“Going into (today), we’re just looking to go out there and play our game,” Hatcher said. “A sweep is really, really big.
“Obviously winning the series is pretty good but getting the sweep is really what we’re going for.”