The fireworks came early and often for the Bulldogs in front of 3,403 fans as the Diamond Dawgs pounded out twenty-one hits in their 16-1 win in Friday night’s season opener at Dudy Noble Field. It was the largest margin of victory for the Bulldogs since 2000 when MSU defeated UAB 17-1. Wes Rea got the Bulldogs on the board in the first inning with a two-run homerun to left field.
“It’s luck. He hung a curveball, it’s a good start,” said Bulldog first baseman Wes Rea.
The Bulldogs continued to pile on the hits in the inning, scoring seven runs on seven hits. C.T. Bradford added two more runs in the third with a two-run homerun to deep right field after another Adam Frazier single to make it 11-1.
The Bulldogs' offensive explosion tonight came as a welcomed sight to Head Coach John Cohen.
“Obviously we swung the bat pretty well. It’s so important to get off to a great start,” said Cohen. He added that, “Confidence is baseball is such a huge thing, getting hits early in your at-bats is real important and that happened for us.”
“It’s big; C.T. came up to me today and said ‘hey coach, I haven’t played a game in ten months.’ I said wow, thanks for reminding me, he really swung the bat well,” said Cohen.
The Bulldogs led the nation last year in turning double plays with seventy-one. They turned three double plays tonight in the first four innings.
That was very helpful to Bulldogs starter Jacob Lindgren and it got him out of early trouble.
“I was really trying to attack the hitters and let my fielders do work. They produced, so I was excited,” said Lindgren. He added, “The hitters really showed up tonight and it was an honor to pitch the first game.”
The MSU lefty was solid in his season opening start allowing only five hits, one earned run, two walks, and three strikeouts over six innings pitched (61 pitches/ 40 strikes). The MSU pitching staff did not allow a hit in the final six 2/3 innings.
Pilots starting pitcher Matt Mccallister was hit hard and often allowing nine earned runs on seven hits and hit two MSU batters in only one and 1/3 innings pitched.
The Bulldogs had five players with multiple hits led by a career high four hit total from senior catcher Mitch Slauter and ten players recorded RBI’s led by C.T. Bradford with three.
Tomorrow the Pilots will be throwing the 2012 West Coast Conference freshman of the year Travis Radke.
“He’s really good, tomorrow we’re going to watch film and really work hard at it. This kid can pitch; he is an SEC caliber arm. It’ll be a great test for our ball club,” said Coach Cohen. First pitch tomorrow is set for 2pm.
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