March 7, 2014 11:55:18 PM
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State's first games away from Dudy Noble Field weren't close to successful.
The No. 12 Bulldogs lost both games of a doubleheader in the opening contests of the Hi Corbett Classic in dominating fashion.
In the first game of the Friday doubleheader, the bottom third of the California-Santa Barbara (8-1) lineup drove in seven runs to ensure the team's seventh straight win. The Gauchos jumped on MSU pitching in a 8-3 win. Each of the Gauchos' 7-8-9 hitters collected a pair of RBIs and multiple hits on the day. Center fielder Andrew Calica led the way with a 3-for-5 day at the plate, while right fielder Scott Quinlan (2-3 with a stolen base), and Jackson Morrow (2-2) contributed to the offensive explosion. Freshman catcher Dempsey Grover, who entered the game in the seventh inning after Morrow was ejected following a collision at home plate, lined an RBI-single in his only plate appearance.
Reigning Big West Field Player of the Week Joey Epperson continued his hot-hitting ways with a 4-5 day in the leadoff spot. The senior third baseman, who entered the game with the sixth-highest batting average in the country, is now hitting .541 and has collected a hit in every game this season and multiple hits in seven straight.
Mississippi State starter Ben Bracewell (2-1) took the loss after allowing three runs over 5 1/3 innings. The Bulldogs (11-5) bullpen fared worse than Bracewell, allowing five runs in just 4 2/3 innings of work. Senior outfielder Demarcus Henderson (2-for-3) and senior second baseman Brett Pirtle (1-for-4, MSU's only extra-base hit) led the way offensively for MSU.
- Arizona (7-7) also pounded out 17 hits in front of its home fans and scored in six different innings off three MSU pitchers. For Arizona (7-7), Trent Gilbert led the way with an impressive 5-for-5 night and six RBIs including a pair of doubles and triples. Scott Kingery and Kevin Newman each had three hits.
MSU starting pitcher Brandon Woodruff (1-2) worked 4 1/2 innings, allowing eight hits and six runs (all earned), with four walks and four strikeouts. Arizona senior right-hander James Farris (3-1) was brilliant by allowing just three runs in a eight-inning effort. Farris lifted in the ninth inning for Arizona and picked up the win in a 130-pitch outing.
MSU will try to get its first win in Arizona in a 3 p.m. Saturday contest against Santa Barbara when the Bulldogs is projected to send junior right-hander Trevor Fitts to the mound.
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.
2. MUW festival puts spotlight on music by women ENTERTAINMENT
3. Hot Mississippi blues will honor late Willie King ENTERTAINMENT
4. Former U.S. poet laureate to give reading Wednesday ENTERTAINMENT
5. Thursday talk features Southern Gardening's Bachman ENTERTAINMENT