February 22, 2009
STARKVILLE -- Freshman left-hander Nick Routt sparkled in his Mississippi State debut Saturday afternoon.
Routt threw eight innings of seven-hit, one-run baseball as the Bulldogs eased past North Florida 7-1 in the opening game of the second day of the BankFirst Baseball Challenge at Dudy Noble Field.
The early season luck for Mississippi State (2-1) ran out in the nightcap as Northern Illinois scored six runs in the seventh inning to take an 11-10 victory from the Bulldogs.
The opener was all about Routt, who struck out four and walked one, throwing 89 pitches while facing 30 batters.
Greg Houston threw a scoreless ninth inning to complete the victory.
Offensively, the Bulldogs rallied from a 1-0 deficit with three runs in both the sixth and seventh innings.
In the sixth inning, Ryan Duffy started things with a one-out single and Jarrod Parks followed with a hit. After a strikeout, Russ Sneed lined a 1-0 pitch easily over the left field fence for a three-run homer to give the Bulldogs a 3-1.
Mississippi State blew the contest open an inning later. Connor Powers had an RBI-double, while Duffy drove in a pair with a double just fair inside the right field line.
An RBI-double by Mark Goforth closed the Bulldogs'' scoring an inning later.
In the second game, Mississippi State built a 5-2 lead in the fifth inning.
After Northern Illinois rallied to tie the score 5-5 in the sixth inning, Ryan Duffy slapped a two-run home run to give MSU a 7-5 advantage.
That lead would be short-lived as the Huskies sent 10 batters to the plate in the six-run seventh inning.
Still the Bulldogs had one last rally, scoring three times in the eighth inning.
Mississippi State finished with 10 hits. Sneed had three hits, Duffy drove in three runs with his home run and an RBI-single and Jet Butler had two hits and two RBIs.
The BankFirst Baseball Challenge concludes with two games today. Northern Illinois and North Florida meet at 11 a.m., Mississippi State and North Florida conclude the tournament with a 2:30 p.m. start.
n Mercer 13, Ole Miss 11: At Mobile, Ala., Brett Basham went 3 for 5 at the plate with a three-run home run, but it wasn''t enough as No. 6 Ole Miss (1-1) fell to Mercer (1-1) on Saturday.
Ole Miss outhit Mercer, but the Bears capitalized on three errors to remain within striking distance before pulling ahead late to grab the win.
Rory McKean (0-1) suffered the loss for the Rebels as he pitched 1 2/3 innings in relief and allowed three runs on five hits with one strikeout.
Ole Miss starter Chris Corrigan worked three innings and allowed six runs - five earned - on five hits with one walk and a strikeout.
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