More and more each day, the 2014 Mississippi State baseball team proves that it is a different team than 2013's was.
Last year, the Bulldogs lost their first three SEC series to open conference play, and people were a bit worried before State got hot late and made a run to the championship series. This year, the worried came even earlier, in non-conference play, but they've also been squelched earlier as well, as State has reversed its course from 2013 and instead WON its first three SEC series of the season.
That streak was kept in tact Sunday as MSU took a 5-1 win over Arkansas to claim the series, two games to one. State wasted no time getting out ahead as Alex Detz fired a home run over the right field wall in the bottom of the first to give MSU an early two-run lead. MSU would go on to add runs in the fifth, seventh and eighth innings to ensure victory, backing the Bulldog pitching effort well in the series' final game.
Trevor Fitts got into a bit of trouble in the fourth inning, and Butch Thompson did not hesitate to go to his bullpen knowing that he had the majority of his options in play after using just three pitchers in the first two games. MSU went to Jacob Lindgren, who stayed true to his form for the 2014 and did not disappoint, working four scoreless innings of relief with eight strikeouts to notch his third win of the season. The trimmed reaper (RIP KENNY POWERS HAIR), Jonathan Holder, came on to work the final frame and two thirds to earn his fourth save of the season.
Looking at the overall view of the entire weekend, things went quite well for the maroon and white. Again after stumbling in the series opener, State was able to bounce back to win the series, which is huge given MSU's struggles against Arkansas traditionally. It was also big because State now caries a 6-3 SEC record into a showdown with LSU in Baton Rouge next weekend - an LSU team that is sure to be highly motivated after getting swept on the road at Florida this past weekend.