February 25, 2009
STARKVILLE -- It''s the "Powers" that be that can make a difference for Mississippi State''s offense this baseball season.
Connor Powers and Ryan Powers (no relation) got the Bulldogs going with their bats as they defeated the South Alabama Jaguars 5-1 Tuesday night at Dudy Noble Field.
With Mississippi State trailing 1-0 in the fourth inning, Conner Powers belted a solo home to tie the game and then Ryan Powers delivered an RBI single to give the Bulldogs a 2-1 lead.
Mississippi State (4-1) struggled for only two hits in three innings against South Alabama starting pitcher Dustin Crenshaw, but Connor Powers hit a drive over the center field fence for his first homer of the season.
"This is not a home run night and you don''t have many of those in this ballpark, but Connor did a good job of putting the barrell on the right spot," Mississippi State coach John Cohen said. "It was just an easy swing and I was watching on the scoreboard. When he gets effortless and puts the barrell on it, he is as good as anybody. When he puts pressure on himself and develops a heavy swing, it''s something he works on every day."
Connor Powers said Crenshaw did a good job for three innings of making good pitches, but credited his teammates for making the adjustments at the plate necessary to gain the advantage.
He was happy to be able to generate something positive with his home run.
"Anytime you score the first run of the game, it really puts a charge into your team, whether it''s a home run or hit-and-run or however you get it," Connor Powers said. "It gets everybody going."
After Connor Powers took Crenshaw deep, Ryan Duffy walked for the Bulldogs to end the night for Crenshaw.
Scott DeLoach greeted South Alabama reliever Michael Raia with a single and then Ryan Powers, in the ninth position in the batting order, drove home Duffy with a single to give MSU the 2-1 lead.
"I was just the right man in the right spot," Ryan Powers said. "Coach Cohen preaches that it doesn''t matter where you are in the lineup, whether you lead off or you are the last guy like I was today, every guy who steps up there has to produce."
Mississippi State scored three runs in the fifth inning to provide a little cushion with Duffy getting a two-run double and DeLoach adding an RBI single.
DeLoach, Mark Goforth and Ryan Powers had two hits each to lead the Bulldogs'' 10-hit attack.
Lefthander Forrest Moore (2-0) started on the mound for MSU and worked six innings, gave up one run on five hits, struck out six, walked two and hit a batter.
"It''s good to start off like this, but it''s more about getting some wins under our belt after being on the team last year and going through all we did last year," Moore said. "We need every win we can get."
Chad Crosswhite worked three innings of scoreless relief and earned the first save for the Bulldogs.
Mississippi State looks to get another victory when it plays host to Mississippi Valley State at 4 p.m. today.
n NOTES: Cohen won his 325th career game as a college head coach...the Bulldogs have hit a home run in four straight games...with his fifth-inning single MSU''s Jet Butler stretched his hitting streak to four games...the announced crowd at Dudy Noble FIeld was 1,160.
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4. MSU softball team splits first two games in California COLLEGE SPORTS
5. Heritage Academy wins boys' basketball state championship HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS