MSU Defeats Gamecocks 6-5 In 12 Innings
March 24, 2007
Starkville, Miss. - Mark Goforth's one-out RBI single in the bottom of the 12th inning lifted Mississippi State to a 6-5 win over South Carolina on Saturday afternoon in game two of a three-game SEC college baseball series. MSU improves to 14-5 and 3-2 in league play while the loss drops Carolina to 20-4 and 3-2 in the SEC. All four Gamecock losses this year have come by one run. The rubber game of the series is scheduled for 2:30 pm ET and will be televised on SportSouth. It also can be heard on the Gamecock Radio Network and uscsports.com.
MSU reliever Ricky Bowen pitched a perfect 12th inning to pick up the win. He is 2-0 on the year. Bowen, Mitch Moreland and Chad Crosswhite finished the final five innings for Mississippi State without allowing and just four hits in that span. Carolina reliever Curtis Johnson suffered the loss despite working a season-high 3.1 innings. He struck out four and walked four while allowing just one run on three hits. Johnson is 0-2 on the year.
After early scoring in the first six innings, it would be until the 12th inning with the game tied at 5-5 before another run would score in the ballgame. Connor Powers led off the inning with a single and was sacrificed to second base by Joseph McCaskill. The Gamecocks would intentionally walk Nick Hardy then to set the stage for Goforth. After fouling off a pair of pitches, Goforth laced a single to center field to score Powers with the winning run.
Mississippi State had 16 hits to the Gamecocks 15 in the afternoon. Powers was 4-for-6, with Andy Rice and Goforth adding three hits and McCaskill and Moreland tallying two apiece. Andrew Crisp had four hits on the afternoon to lead the Gamecocks with James Darnell tying a career-high with three and Phil Disher going 2-for-4. Fourteen of the 15 hits for Carolina were singles.
South Carolina got out to the early lead and took a 1-0 advantage in the third inning. Jon Willard, who entered the game in the second inning at left field, hit a two-out infield RBI single to score James Darnell and give the Gamecocks a one-run edge. The fourth inning would see Carolina extend its lead to 3-0 as Andrew Crisp singled and Travis Jones doubled to start off the top of the 4th that was followed up by RBIs from Reese Havens and Harley Lail.
Mississippi State used four consecutive hits with two outs to tie the game at three apiece in the bottom of the fourth inning. Connor Powers got the Bulldogs on the scoreboard first with a solo home run. After falling off a pair of pitches, Powers knocked a 3-2 pitch from Mike Cisco over the center field wall for his sixth home run of the season cutting into the Gamecock lead. That was followed up by a single from Joseph McCaskill, who advanced to second base on a wild pitch. Andy Rice then hit a short fly ball to left field that went in and out of the glove of a charging left fielder Jon Willard for a double to score McCaskill. Mark Goforth then lined a single off the glove of first baseman Justin Smoak to score Rice and tie the game. Cisco went 3.2 innings and allowed three runs on eight hits.
The Bulldogs would go ahead 5-3 in the fifth inning on Gamecock reliever Will Atwood. Ed Easley and Mitch Moreland each walked to open the inning and were sacrificed to second and third base by Brian LaNinfa. Gamecock reliever Will Atwood fought off the next batter, as he struck out Connor Powers to get the second out of the inning. McCaskill would come up big again for the Bulldogs though as he hit a single up the middle and past a diving Travis Jones to score both runners. Atwood would settle in after the fifth inning though as he went 4.1 innings allowing jus two runs on five hits while striking our four batters.
The Gamecocks battled back in the top of the sixth inning though to tie the game with two runs off MSU starter Justin Pigott. Disher and Crisp each singled to start the inning, were sacrificed by Travis Jones and were drove in by a RBI groundout from Havens and a sacrifice fly courtesy of Harley Lail. Pigott finished with seven innings of work and allowing five runs on 11 hits with six strikeouts and one walk.