I will be the first to admit that I am not a baseball guru. I don’t pretend to be either. I patiently wait for Todd4State’s baseball pieces on Maroon and White Nation so I can improve my “90%er” baseball ignorance. That said, there might not be anything better than sunny skies and a good MSU squad competing at Dudy Noble Field. Basketball has been a nightmare this year so we have been waiting for this like a 5 year old waits on Christmas. What better way to start the year than a 4-0 sweep?
The Diamond Dawgs started the year with a combined 31-3 pounding of the Portland Pirates over the 4 game series. The opening game had a crowd of over 7,ooo and the attendance stayed strong all weekend despite the cold weather. We saw a good combination of hitting and dominant pitching to bring in the new year.
Let’s start with an overview of the pitching. In 36 innings our pitchers combined for 45 strikeouts and only gave up 20 hits. That is dominating. The wins were awarded to Kendall Graveman, Luis Pollorena, Ross Mitchell, and Jacob Lindgren. The only save of the weekend was awarded to Jonathan Holder. All in all a great performance by the whole pitching staff.
Our hitting also showed some bright spots this weekend particularly with the 16 run outburst in the opening game. Some notable batters were: Adam Frazier with 8 hits, CT Bradford with 5 hits, Trey Porter with 6 hits, Mitch Slaughter with 6 hits, and Darrly Norris with 4 hits on the weekend. The lone game we struggled was game 2 with only 2 runs but a key bunt showed that we can execute offensive plays in crunch time. With a total of 31 runs over 4 games I don’t think anyone can be disappointed with the offensive production.
The biggest takeaways from opening weekend were that we were able to win a few different types of ways. Game 1 saw us with the big, dominating win. Game 2 saw us struggle but come through in the clutch. Game 3 and 4 showed our ability to grind out victories in consecutive days when dealing with early season fatigue was obvious. The one constant was great pitching throughout and that is what fans should be most excited about. This staff appears to be built for post season play with the quality depth and sheer number of quality arms out of the bullpen. MSU resumes action tonight at Dudy Noble against Grambling with an opening pitch scheduled for 4 pm.