MSU pitches third straight shutout

MSU pitches third straight shutout
SOURCE: MSU Athletics (Source: MSU Athletics)

STARKVILLE, Miss. - More than a few pages had to be turned and a litany of results scoured as the No. 2 Mississippi State baseball program was on its way to its third straight shutout victory over Louisiana-Lafayette on Wednesday (March 10) night at Dudy Noble Field. 

For the first time since 1976, the Diamond Dawgs have blanked three straight foes and carry a streak of 27 straight scoreless innings into a weekend series with Eastern Michigan. The 76 squad went 29 straight innings during their streak.

This is the 10th such streak in school history, with the only longer stretch of shutouts coming during the 1909 season with five straight blankings.  

Junior starting pitcher Houston Harding (2-1) set the tone with five innings of work. He scattered three hits, walked one and struck out eight to earn his second straight win. Sophomore Preston Johnson struck out four in two innings of work with one hit allowed.

The final two innings went to Landon Sims, who allowed three hits and struck out five. Overall, the pitching staff piled up 17 strikeouts, scattered seven hits and walked just one batter. It is the ninth straight game for MSU with double-digit strikeouts, which ties for the longest streak since at least 2007 with the 2019 squad that opened the season with nine straight 10-plus K games. 

The offense came in the first and sixth innings, as MSU scored two runs in each frame. A wild pitch scored the first run of the game, before a Kamren James sacrifice fly made it 2-0 State. Déjà vu in the sixth inning as a wild pitch accounted for the first run before Luke Hancock capped the scoring with a sacrifice fly. 

Josh Hatcher led the offense with a pair of hits, while Tanner Allen moved his hitting streak to 10 games with a sixth inning single. Rowdey Jordan was on base twice and scored a pair of runs. He reached via base hit in the first and walk in the sixth. 

Austin Perrin (0-1) took the loss on the mound for ULL with two unearned runs allowed in two innings of work. The Ragin Cajuns out-hit MSU, 7-4, but stranded seven runners on base, hit into the only double play of the game and committed the lone error of the night in the first inning.

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