Brandon Woodruff made his debut Tuesday night at Dudy Noble Field after battling arm soreness for most of the preseason. Woodruff tossed a career high six scoreless innings allowing only five hits and striking out a career tying eight batters in the Bulldogs 2-0 win over Grambling State.
“It’s the third time I’ve seen hitters since the beginning off fall and this is the one that counted, so it felt great to be back out there,” said Woodruff.
The MSU sophomore righty was getting a lot of swing and misses from Grambling hitters and that paved the way for his solid outing. “My changeup was working. I was getting a lot of swing and misses on my changeup, so that was definitely the pitch for me tonight,” said Woodruff.
The Bulldogs got on the board in the bottom of the second when Alex Detz walked to start the inning, and was later driven in on a Demarcus Henderson RBI single. The Bulldogs only had five hits on the night, but they hit when it mattered.
In the bottom of the fifth, Daryl Norris singled to start the inning and was later driven in by center fielder C.T. Bradford’s single to left field.
“I thought we defended well. The ballpark is going to play really big with the wind blowing out of the north. Runs were at a premium, and I didn’t think we had really good at bats today. I was kind of disappointed about that,” said John Cohen. He added that, “We got some hits when we had to, Demarcus got a big hit, C.T. got a big hit, and we made some plays.”
After Grambling loaded the bases in the top of the eight with two outs, Cohen went to the bullpen for All-American closer Jonathon Holder. After getting up with a 0-2 count on blazing fastballs, Holder finished Brandon Kiser off with a filthy curveball.
“The pitchers before basically set me up, so it was a good situation; could have been less base runners, but you have to deal with them anyway,” said Holder. He added that, “They were a good team. Our defense played well tonight and our offense scored a couple of runs, so all around it was pretty good.”
The Bulldogs pitching staff to open the year has only allowed three runs in five games. That is the fewest for any Bulldogs pitching staff. The previous record was five runs allowed in five games to open the 1953 season.
The Bulldogs will back in action this weekend at Dudy Noble Field for the Diamond Classic presented by Polk’s Meat Products. The Bulldogs will play both Purdue and last year’s foe Samford twice.