April 29, 2006
Columbia, S.C. - Senior left-hander Brooks Dunn pitched a complete game and 17th ranked Mississippi State scored early and late Saturday to defeat 12th ranked South Carolina 7-2 and even a Southeastern Conference baseball series before 4,024 fans at Sarge Frye Field.
The rubber game is scheduled for 1:30 p.m., EDT Sunday. Freshman left-hander Will Atwood (3-0) is South Carolina's scheduled starting pitcher. Mississippi State had not named its Sunday starter. The Sunday game will be broadcast by the Gamecock Radio Network with Mike Morgan and Tommy Moody handling the call.
Dunn scattered eight hits in pitching Mississippi State's first complete game of the season. He improved his season record to 7-4. Freshman right-hander Mike Cisco suffered his first career loss. He has won five times. The Mississippi State record improved to 30-14, 9-10 in the conference. South Carolina dropped to 31-12, 12-8.
The Bulldogs took a 3-0 lead in the first two innings and batted around in the eighth to score four times.
Edward Easley walked with one out in the first and scored ahead of Thomas Berkery's fifth home run of the season. Two hits and a Gamecock error resulted in an unearned run in the second inning and a 3-0 Bulldog lead.
South Carolina narrowed the Mississippi State lead to 3-1 with an unearned sixth inning run. Justin Smoak doubled, moved to third on an error and scored on a sacrifice fly by catcher Ian Paxton. Paxton also drove in the other South Carolina run with a bloop single in the eighth inning.
Andrew Crisp, who stretched his Gamecock hitting streak to 12 games with two hits, singled to lead off the eighth. He moved to second on an infield hit by Smoak and scored on the Paxton hit.
Mississippi State broke the game open by batting around in the top of the eighth inning, using four hits, a walk and a Gamecock error.
Berkery drove in three runs, two on the homer and one with an eighth inning single. Michael Rutledge had two RBI for the Bulldogs. Berkery, Rutledge and Jeffrey Rea each had two hits in an 11 hit Mississippi State attack.
Crisp and Smoak each had two hits to account for half of the South Carolina total of eight. Doubles by Crisp and Smoak were the only Gamecock extra base hits. Michael Campbell was hitless in four at bats and saw his hitting streak end at nine games.
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