TROY-- Mississippi State pounded out 12 hits and used a four-run first inning to lift the fourth-ranked Bulldogs to a 7-3 win over Troy on Wednesday night at Riddle-Pace Field.
MSU improved to 34-14-1 overall and finished the non-conference portion of its schedule with a 19-5-1 mark. Troy fell to 27-23.
In the first inning, Jack Kruger started things with a one-out walk. Nathaniel Lowe followed with a base hit. Gavin Collins had an RBI-double, while Brent Rooker had an RBI-single. A wild pitch scored another run and an RBI-single by Reid Humphreys pushed the Bulldogs to a 4-0 lead.
The Bulldogs, coached by John Cohen, scored twice more in the second inning with Ryan Gridley getting things going with a leadoff single. After a lineout, Jake Mangum walked. Kruger followed with an RBI-double, while Lowe laced a sacrifice fly.
An RBI-double by Mangum capped the Maroon and White scoring and pushed MSU to a 7-1 lead in the fourth inning.
Such offense would be more than enough for six MSU pitchers. Zac Houston drew the start and worked the first inning. Ryan Cyr, Keegan James, Ryan Rigby, Kale Breaux and Blake Smith followed in relief. Smith got back-to-back strikeouts in the eighth inning to work the Bulldogs out of a tight spot.
Houston (4-0) picked up the win, while Smith got his third save. Kruger, Rooker, Gridley and Collins each had two hits to pace the Bulldogs.