Mississippi State touched home a season-best 17 times Wednesday afternoon as the fifth-ranked Bulldogs completed a two-game series sweep of Rhode Island with a 17-5 win at Dudy Noble Field.
MSU registered its seventh double-digit total for hits this year in extending its season-opening win streak to 11-0. The Rams, playing their eighth game against a top 10-ranked opponent on the road, fell to 0-8.
“There are things we need to improve on before we get to conference play, but I thought we progressed tonight,” said head coach John Cohen. “It was good that we were able to get a lot of people involved in the game.” State used 22 players in the game.
Junior shortstop Adam Frazier registered his third three-hit game of the season and junior first baseman Alex Detz notched his second. Sam Frost drove in a team season-best four runs while Derrick Armstrong and Jacob Robson had their first career three-RBI games. Frazier extended his hitting streak to six games and has spread his SEC-leading 20 hits over 10 of State’s first 11 games. C.T. Bradford had a pair of hits to extend his hitting streak to seven games.
Rhode Island used a pair of walks and a single by Pat Fortunato to take a brief lead at 1-0 in the second inning. But State turned the first of two double plays on the afternoon to douse that Ram rally.
The Bulldogs overcame their third deficit of the year with a four-run third inning surge, and after building the lead out to 10-3, erupted for seven runs in the seventh inning when 11 Bulldogs came to the plate. State was officially 1-for-5 on the day with the bases loaded, but four times Bulldog hitters drew walks and two other times were struck by pitches. For the game, URI pitching issued seven walks and hit five batters.
Three Bulldogs enjoyed multi-RBI swings. Armstrong singled in a pair of runs in the third, Frost tripled in two more in the sixth and Robson chipped in a two-run double to highlight State’s offensive show.
MSU starter Brandon Woodruff fanned the first three batters he faced but issued three walks in the second inning and left the game after giving up a single and a walk to open the fifth. Ross Mitchell (3-0), the third of six batters in the game for State, took the win, retiring the four batters he faced in middle inning relief. URI starter Ty Sterner (0-2) took the loss.
The Bulldogs resume play at Dudy Noble Field Friday at 4 p.m., opening a four-game weekend series against the Saint Joseph Hawks (2-4).