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MSU rocks Rhode Island

February 27, 2013

Luis Pollorena

The Mississippi State baseball team was coming off a big weekend in which they collected four wins.
Keeping focus for a midweek game after that type of weekend is usually a concern.

The No. 9 (Collegiate Baseball) Bulldogs answered those concerns with seven-straight hits in the bottom of the first on their way to a 13-2 win over Rhode Island Tuesday night at Dudy Noble Field.

"Our kids are so knowledgable," MSU head coach John Cohen said. "Our kids are like 'you know coach this team is 0-6, but they've played Florida State and Ole Miss.' This is a good club."

The Bulldogs (10-0) are the first team in the nation to reach double digit wins. They are also the last undefeated team in the Southeastern Conference after Ole Miss lost 4-3 to Memphis on Tuesday.

MSU pounded out 12 hits with seven of those coming in the first inning. It struck for seven runs in the first inning while batting around to put the outcome out of question.

Junior first baseman Alex Detz highlighted the first inning with a RBI double to extend his hitting streak to four games. Detz has gotten a decent amount of playing time at first base this year with sophomore Wes Rea struggling with a quad injury.

Detz had never played first base until about three weeks ago when Cohen and his staff decided to mix things up.

"Alex has been great," Cohen said. "We had a lot of guys play first base this fall and he was not one of them. We needed a left-handed option at first base and he was the guy we moved over. I really think he has taken to it well and he has been an important part of our lineup."

The Bulldogs scored a run in the second, three in the sixth and two in the seventh inning. 

MSU was going to start sophomore right hander Brandon Woodruff, but with the cold weather and the wind, Cohen decided to send senior left hander Luis Pollorena to the mound to begin the game.

Pollorena worked 4.1 innings, giving up two runs on five hits in the no decision. He walked three batters and struck out another three.

"I thought that Luis was really good in some spots early in the game," Cohen said. "In these conditions, it's very, very difficult to command a baseball. I thought for the most part, he did a really good job."

Senior lefty Chad Girodo (2-0) took the win for MSU. He pitched three innings in relief.

"Chad was outstanding," Cohen said. "He is somebody who is really going to help us because with his arm slot and his ability to get left handers and now he has some pitches for right handers, it's special."

Girodo didn't walk a batter, but tied a career-high with six strikeouts. 

"I felt good," Girodo said. "It was a little chilly, but you still have to fill up the zone and get to the bottom. It was big time to get to the bottom.

"Things are rolling right now. We had a lead and it was just important to pump strikes."

Milan Mantle (0-1) took the loss for Rhode Island (0-7) after giving up eight earned runners in 2.2 innings of work.

Tim Caputo led the Rams with three hits.

Detz, Mitch Slauter, C.T. Bradford and Matthew Britton had two hits to lead MSU. Bradford's hitting streak was extended to six games, while Frazier singled in the first to push his hitting streak to five.

The Bulldogs and Rams meet again today. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m. and MSU will go with Woodruff on the mound. 

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