Mississippi State Bulldogs Bash Vanderbilt Commodores to open Series

Mississippi State put together its best performance of the year to rout Vanderbilt in the opening game of their three game series in Starkville.

Every Mississippi State starter either scored or picked up a hit, and many did both as the Bulldogs clobbered the Vanderbilt Commodores 17-2 Friday night at Dudy-Noble Field in Starkville.

Eight solid innings from starter Preston Brown (3-0) did not hurt the Mississippi State (16-8, 3-1) effort either. Brown only gave up two runs on seven hits while striking out three to keep the Vanderbilt (19-4, 2-2) offense at bay.

After putting the Commodores down in order to open the game, Mississippi State slapped a four spot on the board in the bottom of the first. Jake Vickerson, Alex Detz, and Brett Pirtle all picked up singles to load the bases, and Seth Heck drew a walk to put the Bulldogs ahead 1-0.  Cody Brown then grounded to second, scoring another run to increase the lead. A wild pitch brought Pirtle across the plate, and Zack Randolph fielder's choice brought Heck across the plate for one of his team high three runs in the contest to give Mississippi State a 4-0 lead. Detz and Wes Rea crossed the plate three times as well.

Vanderbilt got one run back in the top of the second, but a series of Commodore errors helped Mississippi State pick up two more runs in the second to take a 6-1 lead after two.

After forcing Vandy to go three up and three down in the third, the Bulldogs blew the game open with a five-run third inning. Cody Brown drew a leadoff walk, swiped second base, and later advanced to third on a throwing error. Derrick Armstrong laid down a bunt single, and Brown scored to put Mississippi State up 7-1. Rea later had a two-run single, and another run scored after Heck was hit by a pitch, prompting Vanderbilt to lift Tyler Beede (4-2). Mississippi State picked up one more run on a wild pitch to go ahead 11-1 after three innings.

Vanderbilt scored another run in the top of the fifth to cut the lead to 11-2, but the Bulldogs responded with three more runs to go ahead 14-1, and the Bulldogs added two more in the seventh and a final run in the eighth to set the final score.

Rea finished the game 2 for 3 with two RBIs. Pirtle led the team in hits with a three for five performance. Heck and Demarcus Henderson both had two hits.

The 17 runs were the most for Mississippi State since the Bulldogs dropped 17 on Kentucky in 2009.

The Bulldogs and Vanderbilt return to action at 7:30 Saturday.  The game, which will be televised on ESPNU, will see Ross Mitchell draw the start for Mississippi State.

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