STARKVILLE, Miss. (MSU Athletics) – Five early runs provided enough offense for the Mississippi State baseball program, as the pitching staff struck out 15 in a 5-1 victory over Wright State on Sunday (Feb. 16) at Dudy Noble Field to complete the season-opening series sweep.
Mississippi State (1-0) got two runs in the first inning and scored three in the third, before Wright State (0-3) would break up the shutout with a single run in the fifth. The top four in the Diamond Dawg lineup produced all five runs and drove in three RBIs, while freshman Kamren James provided a pair of two-out RBIs in the game.
Juniors Rowdey Jordan and Jordan Westburg each posted 2-for-4 days at the plate and scored two runs, with Westburg adding one RBI. Juniors Josh Hatcher and Justin Foscue both drove in RBIs, while James had a pair of RBIs and one hit on the day.
Six MSU pitchers combined to allow four hits, three walks and strike out 15 batters in the victory, led by starting pitcher sophomore Eric Cerantola (1-0). The Oakville, Ontario, native fanned a career-high eight batter, allowed two hits and walked three in four scoreless frames to earn the win.
Freshman Landon Sims and senior Spencer Price each threw one inning and struck out three hitter, while juniors Jaxen Forrester and Jared Shemper each completed scoreless frames, as well.
The 2020 season-opening sweep marks the second straight season the Maroon and White have started with a sweep at home (2019; Youngstown State). It is the first time State has swept the season-opening series in back-to-back seasons since 2010 and 2011.
Head Coach Chris Lemonis
On his biggest take away from the weekend
“I feel a lot better about our bullpen. Today, we ran some guys out there who pitched with their skills and commanded their breaking balls. I was really pleased with the whole group who pitched today. Our young kids, Kamren James, Landon Jordan, and Logan Tanner had a good weekend. I have a pretty good idea what [Jordan] Westburg and [Justin] Foscue are going to do and all those guys. We know [what we have in our freshmen], but we wanted to see them do it with the uniform on.”
Freshman Kamren James
On the freshmen contributing on opening weekend
“I feel like we’re starting off really well. It’s always good to have freshmen that come in and have success at the beginning of the season because you get a lot of confidence. You come in nervous and not knowing what to expect but having a little confidence after this first weekend will definitely help us contribute to the team more.”
Mississippi State put a pair of runs on the board in the first inning with Rowdey Jordan leading things off with a single and Jordan Westburg doubled to put runners on second and third with no outs. A. pair of productive outs scored runs, as Josh Hatcher plated one run with a sacrifice fly and Justin Foscue pushed a run across with a groundout.
Mississippi State 2, Wright State 0
Rowdey Jordan and Westburg each started the inning with hits, as Westburg’s single scored Jordan after his leadoff double. After a strikeout, Foscue walked and a double steal put runners on second and third with one out. Kamren James then delivered a two-out, two-RBI single to right-center field to extend the lead.
Mississippi State 5, Wright State 0
After reliever Riley Self got the first out of the inning, Damon Dues tripled to right-center field and came in to score on a Quincy Hamilton ground out.
Mississippi State 5, Wright State 1
The Diamond Dawgs will continue the nine-game season-opening homestand with a midweek contest versus Samford on Tuesday, Feb.18 at 4 p.m.