Recapping No. 24 MSU’s 5-3 loss to No. 14 South Carolina on Friday at Dudy Noble Field.
• The buzz: MSU (39-16, 15-14 SEC) staged another late-inning rally but couldn’t hold on this time, as the Gamecocks (39-15, 17-11) got a two-out, two-run homer from catcher Grayson Greiner in the 10th inning to even the series. The win clinched the SEC Tournament No. 4 seed for South Carolina, and so it will have a first-round bye and not have to play until Wednesday. MSU (seeding TBD) will play Tuesday.
• Big inning: Reliever C.T. Bradford, making his second mound appearance of the night, retired the first two batters. Then he walked LB Dantzler. Enter Daryl Norris, who just three days ago had made his first pitching appearance in two years. Greiner was sitting on a slider, and that’s what he got on Norris’ first pitch. The ball landed in the Left Field Lounge for Greiner’s fourth home run of the season.
• Key stats: MSU was 2 of 10 with runners in scoring position, while SC was 0 of 9. … MSU stranded 11 runners.
• South Carolina at the plate: The Gamecocks had nine hits. … Greiner had three hits, including a leadoff single in a two-run fifth inning, which gave South Carolina a 2-0 lead. … SC tied it in the eighth when closer Jonathan Holder‘s wild pitch scored Max Schrock from third.
• MSU at the plate: State had 10 hits. … Alex Detz was 4 for 4 but had no RBIs and scored no runs. He hit a two-out double in the ninth, but MSU left the bases loaded. … Adam Frazier and Brett Pirtle had two hits apiece. Pirtle’s two-out, two-run single in the seventh gave MSU a 3-2 lead.
• South Carolina on the mound: Starter Jordan Montgomery went seven innings, allowing three runs (all earned) on nine hits, with four strikeouts and a walk. … Adam Westmoreland (7-1) tossed two shutout innings, allowing one hit. … Tyler Webb pitched a perfect 10th for his 16th save.
• MSU on the mound: Starter Kendall Graveman had a much better outing than last week, allowing two runs (both earned) on five hits in 6 1/3 innings. He struck out four and walked one. … Seven relievers saw action, and Bradford (0-1) took the loss. Holder got a blown save.
• Quotable: “The fact that we came back the past two days, it says a lot about our team. Everyone’s obviously disappointed, but everyone’s still confident, and we’ll come back tomorrow and play another good game.” – Detz
• Bottom line: As Detz noted, MSU came back Thursday and won 5-4, then rallied again tonight. The offense just missed on too many opportunities in this one. And even though a first-round bye in Hoover is out of the question, MSU can still help its case to host an NCAA regional by winning this series. Lefty Jacob Lindgren (4-2, 3.91 ERA) will start on the mound for the Bulldogs tomorrow, while South Carolina will counter with lefty Jack Wynkoop (7-2, 2.75).