MSU Baseball Ousts Mississippi Valley State

Cody Freeman

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State junior right-handed pitcher Lee Swindle won his first career start as the Bulldogs blanked Mississippi Valley State 15-0 in college baseball action Tuesday afternoon at Dudy Noble Field.

Swindle (2-0), a junior college transfer from Meridian CC, threw 78 pitches in seven innings of work. He struck out six and walked two, while scattering eight hits. Drew Hollinghead threw two innings of hitless relief as MSU pitching combined for its first shutout of the season.

The victory allowed the Bulldogs to snap a three-game losing streak. MSU improved to 6-7 and won for a 16th straight time against in the in-state rival Delta Devils. MVSU, a member of the Southwestern Athletic Conference, fell to 5-4.

The Bulldogs struck quickly Tuesday, scoring three runs in the first inning. Grant Hogue reached as a hit batsman and Russ Sneed walked. Jason Nappi followed with a two-run double down the left field line. Andy Rice capped that at-bat with an RBI single.

MSU stretched that lead with single runs in the third and fourth innings. In the third inning, Tyler Moore reached as a hit batsman and came home on an RBI double by Ryan Collins. An inning later, Cody Freeman singled, took second on a sacrifice bunt attempt and later scored on a throwing error.

The Bulldogs plated four runs in the fifth inning. In that at-bat, true freshman catcher Cody Freeman hit his first home run as a Bulldog. Freeman hit MSU's third grand slam of the season. A hit batsman, walk and fielding error preceded the round-tripper as Freeman's blast was the only hit in that half inning.

In the sixth inning, MSU added three more scores. Jeff Flagg started this outburst with a two-out triple off the outfield wall. Cade Hoggard drew a walk. Nick Hardy followed with an RBI single. Hoggard came home on Valley's fourth error of the game. Connor Powers capped the scoring with a double right center, plating Hardy.

MSU closed the scoring with three more runs in the eighth inning. Another RBI single by Hardy was the lone hit in that at-bat.

The Bulldogs totaled 11 hits - MSU's 11th game with double digit hits for the season. Freeman and Tyler Moore were the only multiple hitters for the Bulldogs. Russ Sneed saw his 12-game hit streak snapped, going hitless in three at-bats. Grant Hogue, meanwhile, extended his hit streak to 10 games. Hogue has now stolen a Southeastern Conference-leading nine bases this season.

The Delta Devils totaled eight hits. Paul Olson, Cody Pride, Greg Dees and Quinn Axton had a pair of hits apiece for Valley.

Starting pitcher Scott Reid (1-3) took the loss for MVSU. Reid pitched five innings, allowing six hits and nine runs (seven earned), with three walks and three strikeouts. Reid Benincasa, Jesse Locke and Jared Dellinger also pitched for the Delta Devils.

The Bulldogs and Delta Devils complete their midweek series with a 4 p.m. start Wednesday at Dudy Noble Field. MSU then closes its 14-game homestand by opening Southeastern Conference play against in-state rival and fifth ranked Mississippi. The Bulldogs and Rebels will play at 3 p.m. Friday, 6 p.m. Saturday and 1:30 p.m. Sunday. The Sunday game will be broadcast regionally by Comcast Sports Southeast.

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