February 22, 2014 11:48:35 PM
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Mississippi State junior 1B Wes Rea (2-for-4 with 2 HRs and a career-high 4 RBIs)
STARKVILLE -- Wes Rea was told by his head coach to just calm down and let his talent take care of itself.
The junior first baseman calmly watched two power shots tower over the left field fence to finally settle in for the 2014 season.
In the 8-4 victory over Holy Cross, Rea became the first player in the Cohen era at MSU to record an RBI in each of the team's first seven games. Rea also established himself as the first MSU player to hit two home runs in a single game since All-American Hunter Renfroe did so against Arkansas on March 23, 2012.
"It feels good to get the swing going and watching your plan work," Rea said.
Before play Saturday, Rea was just 4 of 18 but had made those hits timely by having a RBI in each of the previous five games. In a injury-plagued first month of last season, Rea had just two RBIs before being needed to be benched due to a quad injury.
The first baseman was aided Saturday by redshirt freshman Daniel Garner, who became the first Bulldog in 2014 to record four hits in a game (4-for-4, one run). True freshman Gavin Collins also broke through on offense, tallying his first two collegiate RBIs with his first base knock in the seventh inning.
Less than 24 hours after using small-ball tactics to win Friday night against the Crusaders, MSU (4-2) simply just pounded the baseball with seven hits from the 3-6 spots in the lineup. Right-handed junior Trevor Fitts (2-0) maintained his perfect record in 2014 thanks to another solid Saturday outing. Fitts had five strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings while surrendering three runs, two earned, on seven hits and one walk. Junior righty Will Cox closed out the game to notch his first career save, striking out five and allowing just one run in 3 1/3 innings. Cox now becomes the third MSU player to earn a save after Myles Gentry provided a solid three innings the night before.
All of the Dispatch MSU Sports Blog readers: feel free to follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/matthewcstevens for up-to-date Mississippi State coverage.
4. The Ups and Downs of Nelson's Pillar BOOK REVIEWS