Mississippi State Bulldog fans should be very excited with the way the Diamond Dawgs performed in their opening series against New Mexico State. The Bulldogs swept the Aggies in a very convincing manner with a 9-1 victory in game one and 6-0 victory in game two. A great series performance against a team that has been averaging over ten runs per-game this season.
Here is a few takeaways from the series, and what State fans can look forward to headed into this weekend’s match-up with Utah Valley.
The pitching was phenomenal in both outings against the Aggies. Starting pitcher Cole Marsh led the Bulldogs in game one and only surrendered one run, which came at the top of the first inning before settling in. Marsh allowed only four hits with three strikeouts before turning it over to Denver McQuary in the sixth to close things out.
In game two, Pitcher Zack Neff gave a commanding performance on the mound going six full innings while only allowing one hit with eight strikeouts. In relief, Keegan James and Riley Self carried the Bulldogs for a combined three innings, allowing one hit with two strikeouts. So, from a pitching stand point the Bulldogs looked outstanding.
Defensively, the Dawgs were solid and continue to make the plays they need to make to help out the pitching staff. Led by Jake magnum in center field, Luke Alexander at short stop, and Hunter Stoval at 2B there is not a more sound defensive group in the SEC up the middle.
On the corners, true freshman Justin Foscue, 3B, and Josh Hatcher, 1B, have quickly adapted to division one play and are looking like seasoned infielders. In left field, Rowdy Jordan has showed a good eye on the ball and good speed but has been most impressive at the plate with his grand slam in the sixth inning of game two. Questions remain for positions in right field and behind the dish. Coach Henderson is still looking for someone to step up at the plate and lock down these two spots.
Offensively the Bulldogs are getting the hits needed to win and have shown the ability to hit for both power and average. There is still a level of concern in terms of consistency, for the most part of the batting order. The top half has been stringing together some pretty good hits. Jake Mangum has been on fire as of late and has been getting some help in the eight and nine hole with some protection. I still see some minor adjustments coming in the middle of the line-up prior to SEC Play.
So there you have it; the Bulldogs are (8-5) with five straight wins and a favorable match-up this weekend against the Utah Valley Wolverines. Should be a great weekend for some baseball at the Dude!