STARKVILLE, Miss. (MSU Athletics) – In front of the largest February crowd in school history, the No. 9 Mississippi State baseball program posted a 6-2 victory over Wright State on Saturday (Feb. 15) afternoon at Dudy Noble Field behind an 11 strikeout performance by redshirt-freshman starting pitcher Christian MacLeod.
MacLeod (1-0), making his first career appearance in the start, threw five innings of one-hit, one-walk baseball for Mississippi State (2-0). The left-hander struck out 11 Wright State (0-2) hitters, didn’t allow multiple base runners in an inning, and faced just two batters over the minimum to earn the win in his debut.
Mississippi State scored three times in the first inning with junior Justin Foscue plating the first run of the game and freshman Kamren James knocking in the other two runs with a double. Freshman Logan Tanner hit his first career home run to lead off the second inning, before a pair of fourth inning runs accounted for MSU’s six tallies. Wright State scored a pair of runs in the eighth inning to account for the final score.
The 11,006 fans in attendance marked the largest February crowd in program history and give MSU 60 crowds of 10,000-plus in program history. The total ranks No. 34 all-time in MSU history and is the 11th five-digit crowd at the New Dude.
Junior Jordan Westburg wasted no time moving his hitting streak to 10 games with a first inning single. His 2-for-5 day at the plate also moved his reached base streak to 22 games dating back to the 2019 season. Junior Rowdey Jordan was on base twice with a single and a walk, moving his reached base streak to 10 games, which continues a streak from last season.
Tanner’s home run also marked the rookies first career hit, as he added a double and a single to account for a 3-for-4 day at the plate. Sophomore Brandon Pimentel collected his first hit in the maroon and white, while James was 2-for-3 with a walk and two RBIs. Eight of the nine MSU starts chipped in at least one hit on the day, as MSU piled up a 13-4 edge in the hit column.
MacLeod and freshman Will Bednar each made their collegiate debuts on the mound, with Bednar tossing three innings of relief. He allowed two run on three hits and struck out four. Senior Riley Self threw a 1-2-3 ninth inning to close out the win.
Overall, the three pitchers piled up 15 strikeouts, walked three and allowed just four hits on the afternoon.
Head Coach Chris Lemonis
On Saturday’s pitching
“It’s about getting out there and pitching relaxed. Christian [MacLeod] was great. I thought that Will [Bednar] was good today, too. I probably put a little too much on him by running him out there for the third inning. We’re trying to get them spread out a little more. It’s that time of year were a lot of pitch counts are coming into play, but they’ve been pretty good for the most part. Riley [Self] was the veteran, and we went opposite of yesterday, and he pitched really well.”
Redshirt-Freshman Christian MacLeod
On getting his first start
“It was awesome. Getting out there and getting on the mound seeing everyone in the backdrop as something you’ve never seen before it’s just awesome. It’s really cool to experience. When the batter stepped in the box, it’s was a whole different level of focus.”
The Diamond Dawgs wasted no time getting on the scoreboard, as four hits produced three runs against WSU starting pitcher Bradley Brehmer. Jordan Westburg got the inning started with a one-out single and came around to score on a two-out double by Justin Foscue. Brandon Pimentel followed with an infield single and Kamren James doubled in Foscue and Pimentel for the final two runs of the frame.
Mississippi State 3, Wright State 0
Logan Tanner hit his first-career home 386 feet into the Left Field Lounge for the first home run of the season for State.
Mississippi State 4, Wright State 0
Landon Jordan singled, and Logan Tanner doubled to start the inning, before Bryce Brock followed with an RBI ground out. Rowdey Jordan they capped the scoring with a sacrifice fly.
Mississippi State 6, Wright State 0
The Raiders cracked the scoreboard with a pair of run producing hits against Will Bednar. After a one-out walk and a wild pitch, Damon Dues drove in the first run with a single. Dues came around to score two batters later on a two-out double by Tyler Black.
Mississippi State 6, Wright State 2
Mississippi State and Wright State conclude the three-game series with a 1 p.m. first pitch on Sunday, Feb. 16. Fans coming to the game can receive a 2019 OMADAWG sticker while supplies last.