March 31, 2011 9:57:00 AM
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State''s baseball team scored a season-high Wednesday in an 18-0 victory against Alabama A&M.
MSU secured its fifth shutout of the season in 6 1/2 innings, as the game was called due to a pre-arranged decision between MSU coach John Cohen and Alabama A&M coach Ed McCann.
The game was originally slated for Tuesday but was pushed to Wednesday due to inclement weather.
MSU (19-6) will carry a five-game winning streak to Athens, Ga., for a weekend series against the University of Georgia.
Cody Freeman went 3-of-4 and had an RBI to pace MSU. Taylor Stark and Trey Johnson each had three RBIs, while Adam Frazier, Jaron Shepherd, and Ryan Collins each drove in two runs.
"I was looking forward to getting out there and helping my team," said Johnson, who made his first start of the season as a designated hitter. "Whether it''s defense, on the mound, or with the bat, I do what I can to help my team."
MSU (19-6) went down in order to start the game, but unloaded five runs in the second inning and eight in the fourth to give Cohen the chance to get his young players in the game.
Stark, one of six bench players to see action, made the biggest impact with a three-run triple in the fourth.
Cohen hoped to play most of his bench ahead of the series against Georgia, and he was pleased to see his team handle a struggling team with ease.
"When you talk about it before the game and go over the scouting report, you can''t hide in Internet age when a team is struggling across the way," Cohen said. "This is about competing against the game, not competing against an opponent. Early on, we really fell into that trap of not being able to execute some things offensively.
"You have to jump right back into a caliber of baseball on Friday that is highly competitive. We have to be ready for that and have a good practice (today)."
Sophomore pitcher Kendall Graveman (3-0) carried a no-hitter past the fourth inning but was lifted for Victor Diaz, who allowed Alabama A&M''s first hit in the fifth. It was the lone bright spot for an Alabama A&M (3-19) team that failed to come close to the form that saw it snap a six-game losing streak with a one-run win against Jackson State on March 26.
Alabama A&M committed three errors in the first five innings, and had misplayed two other balls that led to runs.
Graveman needed only 39 pitches in four innings. He gave up no runs on no hits and didn''t walk a batter. He struck out three.
"We got a lot of ground balls, our defense did a great job and everybody that came in after me did a great job also," Graveman said.