Samford gets first DI tourney win
Basford, big bats lead Bulldogs past Mississippi State
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Charles Basford pitched eight shutout innings and four Samford teammates homered to lead the Southern Conference champions to a 5-0 victory against Southeastern Conference winner Mississippi State in the opening game of the Tallahassee Regional on Friday.
It is Samford's first victory in the Division I baseball tournament.
"It obviously was a great outing by Charles," Samford head coach Casey Dunn. "I thought the biggest thing was he just stayed at the bottom of the strike zone. We feel like, when he is going good, he works down in the zone, and he did that really well today. I thought he did a great job of staying consistent."
With the win, Samford advances to Saturday night's winner's bracket game against the winner of Friday night's game between top-seeded Florida State and fourth-seeded UAB. The game will be televised live on ESPN2 and is scheduled for a 6 p.m. (CT) start.
Brandon Miller, Saxon Butler, C.K. Irby and Christiaan Durdaller all homered for Samford, which put the game away with three home runs in the eighth inning.
Basford (10-2) scattered five hits before giving way in the ninth to Irby, who got the final three outs. Basford, who played his high school ball in Tallahassee, had a season-high 131 pitches and struck out four.
"We knew if we could go out there and play our game, it was going to be great for us," Basford said. "With the crowd and all of the hometown people at the game, it was definitely a big motivator for me."
Miller's 23rd home run in the second inning got the scoring started against Mississippi State ace Chris Stratton (11-2).
"Brandon got the home run early and then we finally got some balls to fall," Dunn said. "We got some balls up in the air and hit them out. It's a pretty good first day to open the tournament, that's for sure."
Stratton pitched 7.2 innings, giving up four runs on six hits to take the loss for MSU. Stratton struck out four batters and walked four. Stratton gave up three of Samford's four home runs, after giving up just four homers in the entire regular season.
For Mississippi State at the plate, Mitch Slauter went 2-for-4. Adam Frazier, Hunter Renfore and Wes Rea had one hit each for the Bulldogs.
Irby had three hits for Samford (40-21).