HOOVER, Ala. | Recapping No. 16 MSU’s 2-1 win over Missouri on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning in the SEC Tournament.
• The buzz: In an epic pitching duel that took 4 hours, 39 minutes, MSU (41-16) pulled out a first-round win when catcher Mitch Slauter lofted a single into center field to score pinch runner Kyle Hann with two outs in the bottom of the 17th inning. It tied for the longest SEC Tournament game.
• Big inning: Well, there were no “big” innings. But in the 17th, MSU got things going when Wes Rea drew a leadoff walk; Hann then entered. After a groundout and a strikeout, Slauter – who’d entered in the 12th inning – muscled a 1-2 pitch from Jake Walsh into center.
• Key stats: MSU used 23 players, including six pitchers. … Missouri used 14 players, and just three pitchers. … State stranded 19 runners, Mizzou 10. … MSU turned two double plays.
• Missouri at the plate: The Tigers (18-32) had 11 hits. … Dillon Everett, Shane Segovia and Brannon Champagne had two hits apiece. … Mizzou was 0 of 8 with runners in scoring position.
• MSU at the plate: The Bulldogs had 16 hits. … Adam Frazier was 3 of 8. … Rea, Hunter Renfroe, Brett Pirtle, Nick Ammirati and Derrick Armstrong had two hits each. … State was 4 of 16 with runners in scoring position.
• Missouri on the mound: Ace Rob Zastryzny got a no-decision but was outstanding. He tossed nine innings of one-run ball, allowing seven hits with seven strikeouts and two walks on 124 pitches. … Keaton Steele, who played the first nine innings at first base, tossed seven shutout innings, scattering eight hits with five strikeouts and two walks. … Walsh (2-2) started the 17th and got two outs before giving up Slauter’s hit.
• MSU on the mound: Starter Trevor Fitts tossed a season-high 3 1/3 innings, allowing one run on three hits. He struck out two and walked none on 39 pitches. … Chad Girodo worked 2 2/3 shutout innings, followed by 2 1/3 shutout frames from Ben Bracewell. … Jonathan Holder worked 2 2/3 scoreless innings, followed by three strong innings from Ross Mitchell, who gave up no runs, no hits, fanned two and walked one. … Will Cox (3-1) worked the final three innings, allowing just a hit with two strikeouts.
• Bottom line: MSU, seeded fifth, couldn’t figure out Zastryzny, but the collective pitching effort is what you’d expect against an offense like Missouri’s. It’s a good win, but now the Bulldogs have to turn around and be ready for South Carolina in today’s late game. Luis Pollorena is the likely starting pitcher for MSU.