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Mississippi State vs. Missouri Baseball 2014: Bulldogs take three from Tigers

Our belated review of the weekend breaks down each game as well as some of the good (and the bad) from a clean sweep of the Tigers.

Senior C.T. Bradford was a driving force in the MSU sweep this weekend
Senior C.T. Bradford was a driving force in the MSU sweep this weekend
Mississippi State University |

With no one around this weekend to pump out game reviews for you all, FWtCT was a bit lite in our coverage of the MSU series at Missouri this weekend.  Never fear, though, good and faithful readers of the blog!  For we have returned to bring you coverage of this weekend, all in one place.

As you probably know by now, this was a pretty solid weekend for MSU baseball.  After struggling in the previous two weekends against LSU and Ole Miss, the Dogs headed into the weekend matchup with Missouri desperate for wins and a change of momentum.  They definitely got the first, and State fans hope they got started on the second as MSU compiled four wins on the week - three of which came in Columbia, Missouri this weekend.  Borrowing style-wise somewhat from the outstanding review that Red Cup Rebellion does each week, here's a weekend review of the MSU vs. Missouri series.

baseball logo Friday - MSU 3, Missouri 2 (11 Innings)

Friday's game went from potentially bad to good in two swings in the eleventh inning.  After MSU had struggled to get anything going offensively for ten innings, the Bulldogs struck in the 11th with two outs as Seth Heck doubled and senior C.T. Bradford singled to score Heck, who would be the winning run.  MSU would get the win, but offensively the same issues from previous weekends still plagued the Bulldogs.

The story of the night was the pitching staff's performance, as Trevor Fitts, Jacob Lindgren and Jonathan Holder combined 14k's and just two runs over 11 innings.  Lindgren had seven of those k's, and pitched very well other than the final inning of work where he let the tying run score on a wild pitch.  Holder would come on and gain control of the situation, though, as he was very Holder-ish, registering six k's while scattering three hits and giving up no runs.

When John Cohen went to the bullpen and Lindgren in just the third inning after Fitts had pitched decently so far, it spoke volumes as to how badly he wanted a win in the series' opener.  It may also be a signal that the staff is looking to go back to the pitching style we saw a good bit of last year, where the starter goes maybe 2-3, and then middle relief pitches a good 4-5 innings before the closer, Holder, comes on.  Whether this was a one game occurrence or the start of the reverse-bullpen action that MSU loved last year, it worked Friday night.

baseball logo Saturday - MSU 6, Missouri 2

Saturday was all about two players - Ross Mitchell and Cody Brown.  Ross would go the distance on the hill for MSU while Cody went 4-for-4 to lead MSU to a 6-2 win, and more importantly a series win over the Tigers.  Brown, who hit for the second straight day in the leadoff position, tripled to start the game, and would wind up just a HR short of the cycle.

As for Ross, Saturday was just another day at the park for him, as he registered a complete game while giving up just seven hits and two runs on 142 pitches.  The 142 pitches scares me, if I'm being honest, but as a fan I have to trust that Butch Thompson and Ross Mitchell know Ross' arm and pitching capacity much better than I do.  His complete game was a saving grace for State's bullpen, as the Bulldogs had already used their two best assets on Friday night to secure the win. MSU would go into Sunday looking for the series sweep.

baseball logo Sunday - MSU 9, Missouri 7 (11 Innings)

For the first time in what seems like forever, we saw both freshmen Daniel Garner and Reid Humphreys swing the stick for MSU on Sunday.  Garner did not have great showings in his A.B.'s, but Humphreys did, and his two-RBI single in the 11th Sunday gave MSU the 9-7 win and the series sweep. After winning Friday night's game, C.T. Bradford was a huge part of Sunday's win as well, putting together a two-hit, three-RBI day to head up the offensive efforts for State.  Alex Detz, Brett Pirtle and Seth Heck each contributed an RBI as well, and all three were a big part of the weekend and the sweep that came from it.

Pitching-wise, things were all hands on deck Sunday, with Brandon Woodruff, Myles Gentry, Ben Bracewell, and Jacob Lindgren all seeing action.  Bracewell would take the bulk of the load, as the senior went six innings while giving up just one run and registering seven strikeouts.  He was able to calm the storm and give MSU a chance to get back in the game after things blew up on Brandon Woodruff and Myles Gentry in the fifth.

baseball logo Record (As of Monday, 4/21)

26-15, 10-8 SEC. Two games out of first in the SEC, currently tied with Ole Miss, South Carolina for third overall

baseball logo Overall Impressions

  • Twice this weekend, State looked to be on the brink of a bad loss, only to come back and win.  Is my faith just weak, or is this team - and being an MSU fan in general - just destined to take me from this earth due to massive heart failure at an early age?
  • Ross Mitchell came into the weekend off of two rough outings, but he returned to true Ross Mitchell form with his performance Saturday.  He may not be the flashiest pitcher in the history of the SEC or in MSU's history, but I'd put him up against the best. 
  • Hey, it's Reid Humphreys!  After just getting brief glimpses of the young star since early in the year, he was given a chance in the Sunday game and did not disappoint, knocking in the game's winning runs.  Could we see more of him for the rest of the year?  I sure hope so.
  • Cody Brown looked comfortable at the leadoff spot.  I still think Derrick Armstrong deserves a chance at it given his speed, but the way Brown hit this weekend, I would not hate seeing him there either.
  • Brett Pirtle continues to quietly be a leader for this team.  We've talked about several different players for their impacts this weekend, but Pirtle's name hasn't come up but once.  Why?  I guess we just expect solid efforts from him now, and that's what he keeps giving MSU.  Brett is the only player on the MSU roster who has started every game this year, and he still is second on the team in average, and has 52 hits.  Other guys may get the credit for RBIs and SBs and other flashy categories, but let's not forget Brett and his contributions to this team.

baseball logo Let's Get Social

Must have been all of my positive Tweets! Err... /deletes this one:

As much as I hate to admit it, he's right...

baseball logo Upcoming Week

Ole Miss - Governor's Cup (Trustmark Park, Pearl, MS) - 4/22
Texas A&M - 4/24 thru 4/26