The Mississippi State Bulldogs weren't sure a couple of times during Sunday's game with the Lipscomb Bisons that they would be able to get out the broom an keep it out at Dudy Noble Field.
Despite falling behind a couple of times to Lipscomb, MSU did enough to complete a four-game sweep of weekend competition with a 16-6 victory and improved to 10-2 this season.
The Bisons (4-8) opened the scoring in the second when they plated three runs but the Bulldogs had the answer with a C.T. Bradford two-run double and Adam Frazier and Wes Rea RBI singles giving State the 5-3 advantage.
“They fought hard there at the beginning and answered back a few times," said MSU third baseman Daryl Norris, who went 3-for-5 with two RBI for the game. "We just kept putting it back on them and finished the game."
For the afternoon, the Bulldogs pounded out 19 hits and broke the game open in the fourth when they sent 12 batters to the dish scoring eight runs to take a 13-6 lead in the contest and never looked back.
“This weekend we played a lot of really close games so it was nice to get the bats going and take some of the pressure off the pitchers and get some new guys on the mound,” said Norris.
Norris was right. The offense was certainly a bright spot for Mississippi State on Sunday afternoon, but it was the pitching that garnered the attention of head coach John Cohen.
“There are a lot of stories for the day, but the best one is the number of freshman pitchers that pitched for us," Cohen said. "That was exciting. I don’t think Will (Cox) was as sharp as he was last week, but he pitched well early.
“Ross Mitchell has done a good job two times in a row. Jonathan Holder was very good for us. Brandon Woodruff gets his first inning as a Bulldog on the mound. Jacob Lindgren continues to do a great job for us in relief, then Tanner Gaines came out and pitched well for us too.”
Mitchell entered the game in the third in relief of Cox. Holder followed Mitchell and picked up his first win of the season. He finished the fourth inning and worked the fifth and sixth innings. Woodruff, Lindgren and Gaines each threw a scoreless inning apiece out of the bullpen. Bradford capped the MSU scoring with his first home run of his career with a two-run blast in the eighth.
“Yeah, I had a pretty good feeling,” said a smiling Bradford.
Mississippi State had six players pick up multi-hit afternoons with Bradford leading the way with a 4-for-6 effort and a career-high six RBI. Frazier, Norris and Taylor Stark each added three hits. Rea and Mitch Slauter turned in a pair of hits each. Norris finished the tournament with a .500 batting average as he went 8-for-16.
MSU hosts Penn State at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday in the first-ever meeting between the two schools. The season-opening 17-game homestand then concludes with a weekend series against Mercer.