STARKVILLE, Miss. – Mississippi State picked up its first win of the college baseball season with a 6-1 victory over Western Carolina Saturday afternoon at Dudy Noble Field.
Trevor Fitts picked up the squad’s first quality start of the season as junior right-hander allowed seven hits and one run, with a career-high 11 strikeouts and two walks. Jacob Lindgren, Preston Brown and Jonathan Holder followed. Holder faced four batters and struck out two for his first save of the season.
“Trevor really set the tone for us today,” MSU head coach John Cohen said. “It was big for him to go out there and navigate the first five or six innings for us today before we finally got some balls to fall for us. We needed this because the kids were looking at each other thinking ‘are we ever going to score’ and in baseball those things can begin to start playing mind games with you. The monkey is off our back there and I hope now our kids can relax a little bit and just go play.”
MSU (1-1) scored three runs in both the fourth and eighth innings.
In the fourth inning, Brett Pirtle started things with a leadoff single. After a strikeout, Cody Brown gave the Maroon and White its first lead of the season with an RBI-triple. After a pair of walks, Jake Vickerson collected his first RBIs with MSU with a two-run single.
After Western Carolina (1-1) closed within 3-1 thanks in part to two wild pitches in the fifth inning, MSU blew the contest open with three runs off five WCU relievers in the eighth inning.
Zack Randolph started things with a one-out single. A hit batsman and Alex Detz’s second hit loaded the bases. Wes Rea followed with a two-run single and C.T. Bradford drew a bases-loaded walk.
The extra offense was more than enough for Holder, who got the final out of the eighth inning before setting the side down in order in the ninth inning.
MSU finished with nine hits, including multi-hit games by Detz and Pirtle. Detz has now reached base safely in 25 straight games dating back to last season.
Cody Jones had two of Western Carolina’s seven hits.
The series concludes at 1:30 p.m. Sunday. MSU is expected to start either freshman right-hander Dakota Hudson or senior right-hander Ben Bracewell in that contest.