Kentucky pitchers had no answer for Mississippi State first baseman Brent Rooker Saturday night.
After picking up a harmless single in the first inning, the Bulldogs slugger cracked three home runs in his next three at bats, including a grand slam in the second inning. Rooker finished the day 4-for-4 with six RBIs and three runs as MSU defeated No. 8 Kentucky 10-6.
Rooker is the first MSU player since Ryan Duffy in 2010 to hit three home runs in a single game. After hitting 14 homers last season, the redshirt junior already has 16 in 2017. Saturday night marks his third multi-homer game of the season.
The Bulldogs trailed 3-0 heading into the bottom of the second inning until Cody Brown hit a solo shot and Tanner Poole had a sacrifice fly to trim the deficit to one. Rooker's grand slam was then hammered over the wall in dead center to give MSU the lead. Rooker homered again to center in the fourth inning and then to left-center in the sixth to open up the game.
Can't make this up. Standing in the Lounge, a guy says "heads up, Brent Rooker is batting." The next pitch, his home run lands 5 feet away— Bob Carskadon (@bobcarskadon) April 9, 2017
In the bottom of the eighth inning, the Wildcats intentionally walked Rooker with runners on first and second.
Rooker is the reigning SEC player of the week after going 7-for-17 with five doubles, one triple and one home run last week. Through four games this week, his numbers are even better: 9-for-14, six home runs, 13 RBIs and a 1.929 slugging percentage.
SEC pitchers are on high alert.