No. 21 MSU shuts down Mississippi Valley State
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Pitching took center stage for the No. 21 Mississippi State baseball team Tuesday night.
Jacob Billingsley, Peyton Plumlee, Denver McQuary and Spencer Price combined on a four-hit shutout as Mississippi State beat Mississippi Valley State 5-0 Tuesday night at Dudy Noble Field.
The quartet struck out 12 and walked six. It was MSU's second shutout of the season.
"Billingsley was outstanding tonight," head coach Andy Cannizaro said. "He was a welcome contribution to our pitching staff. We shut out an opponent that can sneak up on you and beat you. It was a good way to start the week."
MSU (23-12) scored three times in the third inning and added a pair of insurance scores in the eighth inning.
In the third inning, Hunter Vansau started things with a walk. Tanner Poole followed with an RBI-double. Luke Alexander drew a walk. Both Poole and Alexander stole bases and each scored on a two-run single by Dustin Skelton.
The Delta Devils (4-22) then kept the Bulldogs at bay until the eighth inning.
Cody Brown started the inning with a leadoff walk. Brown took second on a passed ball, third on a wild pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly by Elijah MacNamee. Tanner Poole then singled and later scored on a hit by Alexander.
The Bulldogs finished with 10 hits. Brent Rooker, Vansau and Poole each had two hits.
Billingsley (1-0) worked five innings, allowing two hits, with six strikeouts and three walks. Plumlee threw 2.2 innings in relief. McQuary faced two batters without recording an out. Price then got the Bulldogs out of the eighth inning and worked a perfect ninth inning for his 11th save.
"Spencer did a great job of closing the game for us," Cannizaro said. "He was able to get some quick outs and keep the pitch count down. Before the game, we talked about the importance of simply getting the win. It was very workmanlike but the main thing was to come out here and win."
State returns to Southeastern Conference play this weekend with a three-game series at No. 17 South Carolina that begins Friday at 6 p.m. CT.