CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - An eight-run fourth inning sparked an explosion from Mississippi State's offense Saturday as they cruised to a 14-4 win against Nicholls State (1-5) in the Kleberg Bank College Classic at Whataburger Park in Corpus Christi, Texas.
Freshman Tanner Allen led the charge with a 3-for-3 performance, combined with a pair of doubles and four RBIs. Hunter Stovall had a team-high four base hits while Jake Mangum also collected three hits.
On the mound, Ethan Small earned a quality start after tossing 6.0 innings, striking out eight and allowing three runs, all unearned. Denver McQuary relieved him and was able to go the final three innings while allowing just one run.
"The kids were loose and stayed in the ballgame," MSU head coach Gary Henderson said. "Getting six inning out of Ethan and then and having Denver come in and get a three inning outing in was really positive."
State (3-3) struck with a four-run first inning off of three doubles from Bulldog batters. MSU added another run in the third and then broke the game open with an eight-run fourth inning.
The fourth inning was highlighted by Allen's second two-RBI hit, a Marshall Gilbert two-RBI double and RBI singles from Mangum and Josh Hatcher as the Bulldogs moved ahead 13-0.
MSU added one more in the sixth inning when Jordan Anderson, a pinch runner, scored on a bases loaded fielding error. Anderson earned his first hit as a Bulldog in the next inning.
Shortstop Joey Morales was in on all of Nicholls State's four runs, hitting a three-run home run in the top of the fifth and an RBI single in the ninth.
State will return to the field on Sunday to take on Kleberg Bank College Classic host Texas A&M - Corpus Christi at 3 p.m. CT from Whataburger Field.