This was one of those games where it would be reasonable for MSU fans to be disappointed if the Bulldogs did not deliver a blowout. They did.
- Houston is arguably the second most talented pitcher besides Hudson, but he had some problems today. He left a few sliders up in the zone, which did not matter because they had enough movement to where none of the Jackrabbits were willing to swing at them. At most, they popped up or fouled off his breaking pitches. Houston also had some fastballs with good movement that their hitters struggled with. However, Houston's strategy was to pitch fastballs up in the zone so hitters would be late on their swing, or at least generate some lazy fly balls. Some of his fastballs were really flat and high in the strike zone, and that is why he gave up some extra base hits. His ERA for the day is misleading, because Gavin Collins made an error before he gave up a three run home run on a high fastball. Houston was a good pitcher last season, so I do not want to put too importance on his start today.
- It was evident that with it being the fourth game of the weekend, South Dakota State was going to be out of any good pitching depth. Scoring a lot of runs against them was not much to ask, but MSU's hitters still deserve some credit for it. There were a lot of hard hit balls today, and most of MSU's hitters showed good pitch selection at the plate.
- When Robson got on base after his single, he stole second on the first pitch. He sent the message that their pitchers were going to need to watch him on the basepaths, and worst case scenario, he was going to distract the pitcher. Unfortunately he did not get back on base, so his steal in the first inning did not pay dividends later like I thought it might.
- I did not notice on Friday that Nathaniel Lowe was walking out to the theme music from the lightsaber duel in the Phantom Menace. Anyone that can take a positive from Episode I-III Star Wars trilogy is entitled to some success.
- Rooker appears to be looking for fastballs on early counts, which is normal. However, he has gotten a couple of breaking balls early in his at bats, and taken a few bad swings at them. It is a minor observation, and something he can fix when he watches film. Overall, he had a very good weekend hitting the ball.
- Kruger is destroying the ball, even by DH standards. It isn't hard to get a DH that hits the ball well, but he is still off to an impressive start.
- Collins has the athleticism to play third, but he looked like he was still getting used to it over there on a couple of plays. There are some other options at third, so it will be interesting to see how much he gets to play over there.
- Marrero finally got his first hit and got thrown out trying to take second. Baseball shows no mercy.
There really is not much to take away from this one. I doubt that South Dakota State has even gotten to practice regularly on an outdoor field this spring. MSU did what they needed to do, which was win decisively. Memphis did manage to beat Tennessee once this weekend in Chattanooga, but they are supposed to finish in the bottom of the AAC. Losing to them last year is where everything started to go terribly wrong for MSU, so hopefully the Bulldogs win on Tuesday.