We’ve slowly but surely started to hop on the Mississippi State train through the first three weeks of the season. Sure, the Bulldogs were impressive the first two weekends, but that wasn’t exactly against the best competition.
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This weekend, though, the Bulldogs are making a rather bold statement, sitting at 3-0 so far with a pair of wins over a quality Arizona club, along with a single win against Samford.
Mississippi State has shown a lot of balance this weekend. In today’s first game, a 6-2 triumph against Arizona, State righthander Austin Sexton, who really blew up over the summer, was terrific, striking out 10, walking no one and allowing just two runs on four hits in 5.2 innings. Sexton is the first Bulldogs pitcher since first-round pick Chris Stratton to notch double-digit strikeouts, while also not walking anyone in a start.
Left-hander Lucas Laster was also impressive in an 8-2 win against Samford, like Sexton, not walking anyone, striking out seven and allowing just two runs in 6.1 innings. State also received much production at the plate from catcher Cody Walker, who along with Josh Lovelady, have contributed since sophomore catcher Gavin Collins went down with an injury. Just imagine how this team will look when Collins’ bat is back in the lineup.
It’s still early, but Mississippi State is a strong candidate to make a sizable leap in our Monday rankings, granted the poll mechanics make sense.