STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI/MSU Athletics) – Mississippi State ushered in the 2013 baseball season in fine fashion Friday afternoon, posting a 16-1 win over Portland at Dudy Noble Field.
The fifth-ranked Bulldogs collected 21 hits and won its 10th straight season opener and 10th straight home opener. Head coach John Cohen is now 5-0 in his season openers with the Maroon and White. In 14 seasons as a Division I collegiate head coach, Cohen has won every season opener.
“It was a great to see lot of things from a lot of different guys today,” Cohen said. “We did some great things with runners in scoring position and really made some things happen.”
MSU broke open the contest with a seven-run second inning. In that at-bat, a total of 12 different Bulldogs went to the plate. The Bulldogs pounded out extra-base hits, including monster home runs by Wes Rea and C.T. Bradford.
“It’s good to get the first one,” said Rea, a sophomore first baseman. “We’ve worked real hard during the fall and set some big goals for the season. It is exciting to finally get things started.”
Catcher Mitch Slauter led the hit parade with a career high four hits. Slauter had RBI-singles in the second and fifth innings, before adding another single and double in the seventh and eighth innings respectively.
MSU grabbed the lead for good on Rea’s two-run blast in the first inning. An inning later, Portland starter Matt Mccallister was chased when the floodgates were opened. Trey Porter had a two-run single and Hunter Renfroe followed with an RBI-single ending the day for the Portland starter.
Bradford’s mammoth two-run shot to left field came in the third inning and pushed the lead to 11-1.
That would be more than enough offense for a quartet of Bulldog hurlers.
Jacob Lindgren (1-0) drew the opening day start and the sophomore left-hander pitched well. In six innings of work, Lindgren allowed five hits and one run (earned), with three strikeouts and three walks over 65 pitches of work.
Preston Brown, Myles Gentry and Chad Girodo threw an inning apiece and combined for no-hit relief.
For the Bulldogs, Adam Frazier and Daryl Norris each had three hits. Bradford and Porter had multiple hits.
The two teams will resume their weekend four-game series with a slightly altered schedule. A single game will be played at 2 p.m. Saturday, with a doubleheader to follow at 1 p.m. Sunday.