25 Mar

gut punch

If getting swept at Kentucky last weekend was cause for concern at Mississippi State, what happened on Friday night at Dudy Noble Field might be cause for panic. Vanderbilt run-ruled the Bulldogs 26-3. State used six pitchers, and none were particularly effective. Vandy’s hitters had a blast. Enrique Bradfield started the game with a home run. Parker Noland hit two grand slams and tied an SEC record with 11 RBIs. R.J. Schreck hit two bombs and drove in eight runs. Meanwhile, Bulldogs batters managed just six hits and struck out eight times in the seven-inning affair. But the offense really isn’t a big problem. Pitching and defense are. State’s staff ERA is now 6.09, worst in the SEC. Statistically, the Bulldogs are also the worst fielding team in the league. “I got to figure out some different things to help these kids out,” said State coach Chris Lemonis, who led a very different bunch to a national title two years ago. Getting back on the right track against Vandy, a consensus top five team that swept Ole Miss last weekend, might be a tall order. The next two days in Starkville will be interesting, to say the least.

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