STARKVILLE, Miss. (MSU Athletics) – The anatomy of a no-hitter is usually pretty simple: really good pitching along with timely – and at times sparkling – defense. On Sunday (March 7), Mississippi State baseball mixed in little of all of that for the program’s first no-hitter since 1999 and a 13-0 victory to earn the series win over Kent State at Dudy Noble Field.
Four pitchers combined for the first no-hitter in 22 years, as freshman Jackson Fristoe tossed six perfect innings in his third career start. After eight strikeouts, Fristoe gave way to second-year freshman Landon Sims who worked a scoreless seventh with one walk allowed. Freshman Mikey Tepper fired 1 2/3 innings with three strikeouts, before sophomore Cam Tullar walked a batter and then got a pop out to end to wrap up the no hitter.
The 1999 no-hitter came on March 16 against Alcorn State in a 21-1 victory, as Scott Polk, Justin Estel and Brian Compton combined on the feat. Against the Braves, Polk allowed an unearned run over six innings pitched with two walks and nine strikeouts. Estel fired one inning and walked one, while Compton walked one and struck out three in two innings of work.
The offense had an impressive day, as well, with the 13 runs coming on 16 hits and six walks. Four Diamond Dawgs posted multi-hit games, led by Kamren James with three hits and five RBIs. James blasted a 355-foot home run for his fourth long ball of the season in the fifth inning.
Overall, 12 players reached base with 11 collecting hits. Rowdey Jordan had a pair of hits, walked twice and scored two runs, while Josh Hatcher and Lane Forsythe each chipped in two hits. Tanner Allen moved his reached base streak to 11 games with a single. He scored two runs and drove in one RBI on the afternoon.
Head coach Chris Lemonis
On his team’s 3-0 record on Sunday this season
CL: I think Jackson Fristoe has been a big piece to that on the weekends. In the Sunday games he’s come out and gave us some really good chances to win. It’s been a fight, the Texas Tech or the Tulane game and then Kent State. It’s going to be like that every weekend. The competition level is just so high, it’s harder to sweep, it’s harder to do things and I give our guys a lot of credit for coming out and playing [with energy] today. I thought yesterday was our worst game of the year and today was our best. I give the guys a lot of credit for bouncing back and being mentally ready to go.
On what it was like to be a part of the no-hitter
CL: It was exciting. Around the fifth or sixth inning, you start to realize it because you’ve got to start making some pitching decisions, and in our situation right now it’s really hard. In some years, you’d play for the no-hitter, it’s something exciting for the fans and [the players], but in our world we only have so many opportunities to play guys. It’s a big roster, so you try to get guys in there. When [Jackson Fristoe] got to 85 pitches we felt like that’s where we wanted him at. He’s got such a bright future and you don’t want to push him, and the game was still in check at that point. We bring in Landon [Sims] and then it gets expanded. Tip your hat to all our pitchers today and we made three amazing plays on defense to keep that no-hitter intact. Drew McGowan [had the diving catch]. I don’t know if everyone noticed the one by Brandon Pimentel, it hits the bag and shoots the other direction. Nine times out of ten that’s a double, and then Lane Forsythe makes a great play there at the end, so it was a fun day at the ballpark.
Scotty Dubrule and Rowdey Jordan both walked to start the inning and came in to score on Kamren James’ single to center field with one out.
Mississippi State 1, Kent State 0
A Logan Tanner single through the right side began the inning before Josh Hatcher singled up the middle, advancing Tanner to third. Drew McGowan’s sac fly to center scored Tanner.
Mississippi State 2, Kent State 0
Rowdey Jordan walked and advanced around to third with two outs before he scored on a wild pitch.
Mississippi State 3, Kent State 0
Tanner Allen reached on a fielder’s choice before scoring on James’ home run to left field.
Mississippi State 5, Kent State 0
A walk for Hatcher started off the inning before Lane Forsythe singled through the left side. Hatcher advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on Dubrule’s single to right field. Tanner Allen’s single through the left side scored one before Kamren James’ double to left field plated two.
Mississippi State 9, Kent State 0
Pinch hitter Kyte McDonald doubled down the left field line and scored on Brandon Pimentel’s single to right field. Forsythe reached on a fielder’s choice and advanced to third on Rowdey Jordan’s single to left. Brad Cumbest was hit-by-pitch to load the bases before a single by Landon Jordan scored two. Kace Garner’s single to left field scored Cumbest to cap the scoring for the Dawgs.
Mississippi State 13, Kent State 0
Mississippi State will remain at home for a pair of midweek games to face Grambling on Tuesday, March 9 and Louisiana Lafayette on Wednesday, March 10. Both games will begin at 6 p.m.