College Sports

Poplarville's Zac Houston earns Governor's Cup baseball win for MSU

JOHN FITZHUGH/SUN HERALD 
 Mississippi State starting pitcher Zac Houston throws during the first inning of their game against University of Louisiana-Monroe at MGM Park in Biloxi on Wednesday April 20, 2016.
JOHN FITZHUGH/SUN HERALD Mississippi State starting pitcher Zac Houston throws during the first inning of their game against University of Louisiana-Monroe at MGM Park in Biloxi on Wednesday April 20, 2016. SUN HERALD

PEARL -- To say Ryan Cyr was nervous for his first career start was an understatement, but you never would have known by how he pitched.

Behind a stellar pitching performance and defense the Bulldogs shut out rival Ole Miss 2-0 in a top 10 showdown in the 37th annual Governor's Cup at Trustmark Park on Tuesday night in front of an announced crowd of 8,542.

It's the first shutout for third-ranked Mississippi State (28-13-1) in the Governor's Cup and the first shutout in the series since 2006 (Ole Miss won 1-0).

"I felt like Cyr was well rested and would have good velocity," said Mississippi State coach John Cohen. "It got us off to a great start and was very competitive."

Cyr came in only having thrown 12 innings without allowing a run. Cyr lasted four innings Tuesday, scattering four hits, with two walks and one strikeout on 51 pitches. Cohen stated after the game Cyr was on a 50-pitch limit.

"It's just an adjustment going from being in the bullpen to a starting role," Cyr said. "I was kinda nervous with it being my first start but after the first inning I settled down and did what I had to do."

Mississippi State scored the first run of the game in the bottom of first on a single by Reid Humphreys. The other run came on an RBI-single by Nathaniel Lowe in the third.

Jake Mangum, Humphreys and Lowe had two hits each to lead the Bulldogs offensively.

"We didn't hit very well tonight," Cohen said. "But we were able to make big plays defensively and kept pounding the strike zone and that was the difference."

Poplarville native Zac Houston (3-0) got the win in relief for Mississippi State, lasting 2 2/3 innings while scattering three hits with two strikeouts. Jacob Billingsley got the save lasting two and a third innings and was named the games MVP.

"I thought Zac came in and did a great job of pounding the strike zone and getting a head of hitters," Cohen said. "He pitched very well and kept his velocity up."

Ole Miss had chances to tie the game, but left 11 men on base. The ninth-ranked Rebels (32-11) left two runners on base in the third, sixth, seventh and eighth innings.

"We didn't have very many good at-bats, but you have to credit their pitching for that. They pitched it well tonight," said Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco. "Came down to timely hits and they got two big ones and we didn't."

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