STARKVILLE Mississippi State gave new coach Andy Cannizaro his first career victory with an 8-2 win over Western Illinois on Saturday at Dudy Noble Field.
The Bulldogs (1-1) plated five runs in the first inning and that would be more than enough for the pitching trio of Peyton Plumlee, Ryan Rigby and Trysten Barlow.
“Our guys came out and really set the tone early today,” Cannizaro said. “We were aggressive today and came out and put the five-spot up right away. We had some really good swings and patient at-bats. We had the timely hits that we couldn’t get (Friday in a 5-2 loss to Texas Tech).”
In that first inning, the big blow was a two-run single by junior Tanner Poole. Brent Rooker also had an RBI-single. Sophomore Cole Gordon drew a bases-loaded walk in that at-bat. Sophomore Luke Alexander had the other hit in the first inning.
After Western Illinois (0-3) pulled within 5-2, MSU got those two runs back in the fourth inning.
Gordon hit the club’s first home run of the season and sophomore Jake Mangum would later line an RBI-single up the middle.
The final score came in the sixth inning on an RBI-single by Hunter Stovall.
On the mound, Plumlee (1-0) threw six innings in his Bulldog debut, allowing four hits and two runs (one earned), with seven strikeouts and no walks.
“Peyton was really outstanding today,” Cannizaro said. “He really challenged hitters and set the tone for the game. The nerves go down when you see your offense have a big first inning like that.”
Rigby scattered three hits over two innings of work, while Barlow threw the ninth inning in his debut. The MSU bullpen has not allowed a run in 8.2 innings of work this season.
MSU finished with 10 hits, including Poole’s first three-hit night in the Maroon and White. Mangum and Alexander each added two hits apiece.