The Northern Kentucky University Norse baseball team will long remember the first win of Dizzy Dean’s first season as head coach.
The Norse (1-3 overall) edged the seventh-ranked and defending national champion Mississippi State Bulldogs, 7-6 in Starkville on Friday. The Norse opened the season last weekend with three losses on the road at East Tennessee State University.
“I’m very proud of our guys and staff,” Dean said. “We have worked very hard for this moment and many more to come. They believe in themselves, and our process. They played their hearts out and left it all out on the field. But that doesn’t surprise me. That’s the way we play. But the win was very special against a very good team.”
Junior right-hander Kyle Klingenbeck started for NKY picking up the win to move to 1-1 on the season. He threw six innings striking out three and allowing just three hits out of 25 batters. Senior righty Nick Noble and freshman Andrew Mulhern then combined for an inning of relief.
Graduate student Bryson Lonsbury then came in to throw two innings to pick up the save. He allowed one hit.
The Norse pounded out 11 hits. Junior Manny Vorhees led the way going 3 for 5 with two doubles, two runs scored and one run batted in. Senior Ryan Glass went 1 for 4 with a double, one walk and two RBI. Senior Jayden Wakeham, sophomore Liam McFadden-Ackman, senior Brennan Gick and sophomore Brandon Tucker had one RBI each. Vorhees and redshirt junior Treyvin Moss have had hits in all four games this season for NKU.
The Bulldogs scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the second. But NKU put up three runs in the top of the third to go up 3-2 after a Vorhees single and Glass double.
The Norse built a 7-3 lead in the top of the seventh. Mississippi State scored one in the bottom of the seventh and two in the eight to make the final score.
Right-hander Landon Sims threw five innings taking the loss for the Bulldogs. He struck out four and allowed six hits, two walks, four runs including one earned. Freshman Hunter Hines led Mississippi State at the plate going 2 for 5 with a home run, triple, two runs scored and an RBI.
Northern Kentucky faces Mississippi State two more times in the three-game series. The next game is Saturday at 3 p.m. Eastern Standard Time back at Dudy Noble Field.