Mississippi State Pounds Razorbacks 17-4
BY ANDRES FOCIL
STARKVILLE, MISS. – The Arkansas Razorbacks gave up a season-high 17 runs and 19 hits as the Mississippi State Bulldogs took game one of the weekend series 17-4 in front of more than 3,000 fans Friday night.
The Razorbacks dropped to 18-12 overall and 4-6 in the Southeastern Conference, while the Bulldogs improved to 20-11 overall and 7-5 in the SEC.
Arkansas starter Gary Hogan, Jr., took the loss to drop to 3-3 on the year. Mississippi State’s Paul Maholm upped his record to 7-1 after throwing seven innings allowing three runs, all earned, on seven hits with three strikeouts and two walks.
Mississippi State took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. With two outs, Matthew Brinson took Hogan’s 2-2 offering over the right field fence for his sixth home run of the year.
The Bulldogs broke the game open in the second inning as they roughed up Hogan for seven runs on five hits to take an 8-0 lead. Steve Gendron, Jon Mungle and Michael Brown each singled to load the bases with no outs. Casey Long brought Gendron in with a sacrifice fly to center for the first run of the inning.
Matthew Maniscalco doubled to score Mungle for a 3-0 lead. After a walk to Chad Henry loaded the bases, Hogan walked Brinson to plate Brown. Still with the bases loaded, Jason Burkely brought everyone home with a grand slam that cleared the right field fence and put the Bulldogs by eight.
Hogan lasted just one and one-third innings, allowing eight runs, all earned, on six hits with three walks. It marked the shortest outing of the year for Hogan
Arkansas got on the board in the top of the third inning when Ryan Fox hit a two-run home run that also scored Jeff Fletcher (single) to cut the deficit to 8-2. The dinger was the ninth of the year for Fox and his fourth in the last five games.
The Razorbacks continued to chip away at the Bulldog lead with a run in the fourth inning. Scott Hode extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a double to left field that scored Cody Clark (single) to make it an 8-3 game.
Mississippi State increased its lead and erased any chance of an Arkansas comeback in the fifth. Jon Mungle hit a solo home run to right in the bottom of the fifth inning for a 9-3 lead. Michael Brown singled and moved to second after a fielding error by Michael Conner on a fly ball by Casey Long. After a single by Maniscalco loaded the bases, Henry doubled to right to score Brown and Long for an 11-3 lead. Brinson then singled to right to score Maniscalco and Henry to give the Bulldogs a 13-3 advantage.
Still in the fifth with no outs, Brent Lewis continued the Bulldog explosion with a single up the middle that scored Brinson to put Mississippi State ahead 14-3. Gendron made it a 16-3 game with a double down the right field line that scored Burkley and Lewis.
After eight runs had scored, the Razorbacks were able to set down the next three Bulldog batters to end the inning.
The Bulldogs added a run in the eighth on an RBI ground out by Enrico Jones to give the Bulldogs a 17-3 lead.
Arkansas put up a run in the ninth on a ground out my Kirk McConnell for the final 17-4 margin.
The 17 runs were the most allowed by the Razorbacks since giving up 17 to LSU on April 9, 2000. The 19 hits allowed were the most since giving up 19 to Auburn on March 19, 2000. The 13-run margin of defeat was the largest by a Razorback opponent since March 12, 2000 when the Tennessee Volunteers posted a 14-0 victory over the Hogs in Knoxville.
The Razorbacks and Bulldogs will continue their series with a 2 p.m. game Saturday at Dudy Noble Field in Starkville. Jarrett Gardner is scheduled to take the mound for the Razorbacks.
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