Texas Southern got its first win of season by shocking the 4th-ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs on Tuesday at Dudy Noble Field in the biggest upset of the college baseball season in 2020 so far. After the Tigers struggled in the first nine games of the season, Texas Southern came up with a big 8-4 upset of a powerhouse baseball program, which has reached the College World Series the past two years.
Up to this point, the Texas Southern pitching staff has been relatively quiet and not getting batters out allowing runs in their first nine games, but playing the nation’s No. 4 team brought them out of their slump.
Mississippi State (5-2), jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first-inning, but Texas Southern (1-9) jumped on Bulldog starter KC Hunt plating three runs in the second inning taking a 3-2 advantage chasing Hunt from the game. MSU would even the game at 3-3 in the bottom half of the 2nd inning.
Texas Southern plated four runs in the fourth thanks in part to Tyson Thompson leading off the inning with a single to left field. Roderick Coffee reached base on a fielder’s choice, Thompson out at second base. Reuben Bennevendo singled up the middle put runners on first and third, Justin Cooper walked to load the bases. State’s relief pitcher David Dunlavey’s wild pitch put the Tigers up 4-3. Nic Garza walked to reload the bases. With two outs, the inning was extended on a costly fielding error committed by Bulldog shortstop Jordan Westburg which plated another run and Victor Bueno singled to center field which scored two more runs to made it 7-3. The Tigers added another run in the eighth inning making it 8-3 and never relinquished the lead. MSU scored a run in the ninth for the final score of 8-4.
For Texas Southern, Bueno had two hits and drove in two runs, Charles Robinson, Cooper, Thompson and Bennevendo each had one hit. Tigers pitching kept the Bulldogs in check. Winning pitcher Camden Guarnere (1-0) tossed 5.0 innings yielded seven hits, three runs earned striking out three. Robert Loza in relief threw three innings allowing one hit, Jesse Garcia struckout the two batters he faced in the ninth for the save. Guarnere, Loza and Garcia combined to strikeout six batters in the game, three from Guarnere.
According to Texas Southern head coach Michael Robertson, this was “the second biggest win in school history. Good pitching, good defense and timely hitting being a bi-product of the fall season attitude. We talked about the number four team in country probably didn’t take us serious and the fact if we were fortunate to win our conference tournament we could play at Mississippi State against their great ball club.”
Mississippi State had costly errors, six walks, a pair of hit batters and left 11 runners on base, while TSU stranded eight and made one error.