February 21, 2013 1:19:31 PM
STARKVILLE -- Sophomore right-hander Brandon Woodruff opened his season on a strong note Tuesday to lead the No. 5 Mississippi State University baseball team to a 2-0 victory against Grambling State at Dudy Noble Field.
Woodruff, who is from Wheeler, matched a career-high with eight strikeouts in six innings. Six MSU pitchers combined for the squad's second consecutive shutout as MSU moved to 5-0 for the second time in three seasons.
"It was a well-pitched game by both teams," MSU coach John Cohen said. "It's hard to score runs when the wind is from the north here. This was a lot like several of our intrasquad games. It was well pitched by both teams and local scoring."
MSU pitching has allowed 26 hits and three earned runs for a 0.60 ERA. Bulldog hurlers haven't allowed a run in 18 innings.
MSU opened the scoring with a run in the second inning. After a leadoff walk to Alex Detz, Brett Pirtle followed with a sacrifice bunt. Following a lineout, Demarcus Henderson had an RBI single.
Henderson also had a hand in the Bulldogs' other run in the fifth. Daryl Norris singled, went to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Henderson, and scored on a two-out single by C.T. Bradford.
Myles Gentry, Bradford, Preston Brown, Ross Mitchell, and Jonathan Holder completed the shutout. Holder got a critical strikeout with the bases loaded in the eighth to help send Grambling State to 0-3. Holder retired the side in order in the ninth for his 11th career save.
MSU will play host to Purdue University and Samford University this weekend in the Diamond Classic presented by Polk's Meat Products. The three-day, six-game event begins Friday with Samford playing Purdue at 2:30 p.m. MSU will take on Purdue at 6 p.m.