STARKVILLE, Miss. — The Mississippi State baseball team opened up the 2019 season this weekend with a three-game sweep against the Youngstown State Penguins at the new Dudy Noble Field.
The Diamond Dawgs played one game Friday and a double-header Saturday to begin the 2019 season under first-year head coach Chris Lemonis.
FRIDAY’S GAME: The Diamond Dawgs began the season slow, but some late game offense pushed MSU past Youngstown 14-3.
Starting pitcher Ethan Small struck out the first five batters he saw as both teams failed to score a run through three frames.
Youngstown State scored two runs in the top of the fourth and another in the top of the sixth to take a 3-0 lead.
The Diamond Dawgs then scored 14 runs between the sixth and eighth innings in the season-opening 14-3 victory.
Small pitched a career-best 11 strikeouts without allowing a walk. He allowed two runs on four hits.
Peyton Plumlee pitched the sixth and seventh inning and allowed one run on one hit. He struck out two batters and walked one.
SATURDAY GAME 1:
The Diamond Dawgs scored 14 unanswered points in a 14-2 win in the first game of a double-header on Saturday.
State scored three runs in the first inning, four in the second, three in the third and fourth and one in the fifth.
Youngstown State opened the scoring with a two-out, two-run home run, but it was all MSU the rest of the way.
Tanner Allen knocked in six runs in the game, including a three-run home run in the bottom of the second inning. Jake Mangum also fueled the Dawgs with two RBIs and three runs on three-for-four hitting.
MacNamee plated three runs in the contest as well.
Pitching wise, JT Ginn (1-0) earned the win in five innings of work. He allowed just the two first-inning runs. He struck out seven, walked one and allowed just two hits.
SATURDAY GAME 2:
The Diamond Dawgs completed the season-opening sweep with an 8-0 win over the Penguins in the Saturday double-header.
Justin Foscue’s first home run of the season gave the Diamond Dawgs a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second. MacNamee them hit a fielder’s choice RBI in the third to give State a 2-0 lead before a Foscue double scored him to push the lead to 3-0.
MSU then scored three runs in the fourth on a three-RBI double from Allen to make it a 6-0 ballgame.
Keegan James (1-0) made his first start since April 13, 2016 and threw five scoreless innings. He allowed four hits, walked two and struck out six to earn the win.
Four relief pitchers then pitched an inning apiece to keep the shutout intact.
The Diamond Dawgs will now face the UAB Blazers (3-0) on Wednesday. First pitch is slated for 4 p.m. CT.