Mississippi State Knocks Off South Carolina 13-6 In Doubleheader Opener
March 14, 2009
Starkville, Miss. - Mississippi State sent 13 batters to the plate in the bottom of the fifth inning and scored seven runs on its way to a 13-6 victory over 17th ranked South Carolina in game one of a doubleheader at Polk-Dement Stadium. MSU improves to 11-4 on the year and is 1-0 in SEC play while the loss drops Carolina to 10-3 and 0-1 in league competition. The second game of the doubleheader is scheduled to begin at 8:10 pm ET.
Mississippi State led 5-4 heading into the bottom of the fifth inning when things in the game turned in favor of the Bulldogs. MSU had runners on first and third base with one out and got things going with a RBI single to right field by Ryan Powers. On the play, Carolina right fielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. attempted to throw out Mark Goforth at third base but his throw went past third baseman Andrew Crisp allowing a second run to score. A two-out walk by USC reliever Matt Price to Ryan Collins would give MSU runners on first and second base. Designated hitter Luke Adkins would then deliver for MSU with a two-run triple to right center. A bunt single from Jet Butler, as well as a two-run bases loaded single by Scott DeLoach added three more runs and gave MSU a commanding 12-4 lead. State would score one more run in the eighth inning with Carolina scoring single runs in both the seventh and ninth innings.
Mississippi State had a 15-8 advantage in hits with Butler leading the way with a 3-for-6 day at the plate with four RBI. Adkins was 3-for-6 with three RBI as well as a triple. Ryan Powers also had a 3-for-5 day at the plate scoring two runs. Russ Sneed reached base all five times in the game with a pair of hits and scored twice as well. Mississippi State had the leadoff batter reach base in six of eight innings at the plate. Whit Merrifield and Jackie Bradley, Jr. were each 2-for-5 to lead Carolina at the plate.
Tyler Whitney went five innings and allowed four runs, one earned on four hits with three strikeouts and two walks to pick up the win. He is 2-0 on the year. The loss went to Carolina starter Sam Dyson, his first of his collegiate career. He is now 2-1 on the season. Dyson worked 4.1 innings and allowed eight runs, seven earned on nine hits. He struck out six and walked two.
Russ Sneed put Mississippi State ahead 1-0 in the bottom of the second inning. Off Dyson's 1-1 pitch, Sneed launched his third home run of the year over the right field wall to give the Bulldogs its first lead of the game. The Gamecocks struck back quick in the top of the third to tie it at 1-1 as Bobby Haney tripled to left center with one out and scored on a wild pitch issued by Whitney.
Mississippi State regained the lead in the bottom half of the third though with three more runs off of Dyson. Grant Hogue reached base with a leadoff single and would advance to second base on a sacrifice bunt from Ryan Collins. On the play, Gamecock catcher Justin Dalles tried to nab Hogue at second base but the throw was just a second late giving MSU runners on first and second base with no outs. After advancing to second and third on a ground out to first, both runners would score on Jet Butler's RBI single. The Bulldogs would score one more time in the inning as with two outs and the bases loaded, a passed ball to catcher Justin Dalles scored Butler and gave Mississippi State a 4-1 lead.
South Carolina answered again putting a three spot of its own on the scoreboard in the top of the fourth tying the game at 4-4. The Gamecocks benefited from a throwing error by MSU second baseman Jet Butler to put Jackie Bradley, Jr. on base and Nick Ebert walked giving Carolina a pair of runners on base. With two outs and both runners on the corners, Andrew Crisp launched a three-run homer to left center to knot the game up at four apiece. For Crisp, it was his second homer of the year and marked the 13th straight game that Carolina has homered at least once. Mississippi State's fifth run would come in the bottom of the fourth inning on a RBI groundout from Butler.