Recapping No. 14 MSU’s 6-2 win over South Alabama in the second round of the NCAA Starkville Regional at Dudy Noble Field on Saturday.
• The buzz: MSU (45-17) advanced to the regional final, rallying from a two-run deficit with four runs in the fifth inning. Alex Detz and Brett Pirtle led the offensive attack, Ross Mitchell did his usual long relief work, and the defensive play was much cleaner than the night before.
• Big inning: MSU scored all four runs in the fifth with two outs. Hunter Renfroe chopped one toward third base with the bases loaded and legged out an RBI infield single. Then Pirtle followed with a two-run single to right field. Wes Rea‘s single scored another for a 4-2 MSU lead.
• Key stats: A day after committing four errors, MSU committed none tonight. … South Alabama made an error and gave up two unearned runs. … All six of MSU’s runs were scored with two outs.
• MSU at the plate: The Bulldogs had nine hits. … Detz had three hits for the second straight game. He’s 6 of 7 this weekend. … Pirtle had two hits and the two RBIs. … C.T. Bradford had a two-run single in the seventh inning.
• South Alabama at the plate: The Jaguars (43-19) had eight hits. … Dustin Dalken had two hits. … In a two-run fourth, Robby Campbell drove in a run on a groundout, and Drew Cofield had an RBI single.
• MSU on the mound: Starter Luis Pollorena went 3 2/3 innings, allowing two runs (both earned) on four hits with a walk and no strikeouts. … Mitchell (12-0) worked the final 5 1/3 innings, allowing no runs on four hits with five strikeouts and no walks.
• South Alabama on the mound: Starter Matt Bell (6-2) lasted 6 1/3 innings, charged with five runs (four earned) on six hits with two Ks and four walks. … Dylan Stamey worked two-thirds of an inning, allowing one unearned run on two hits, one strikeout and no walks. … Hunter Soleymani put in two shutout innings, giving up just one hit with two strikeouts.
• Bottom line: MSU has advanced to the Starkville Regional championship round, and it will play at 7 p.m. Sunday against the winner of the 2 p.m. Central Arkansas-South Alabama elimination game. If MSU loses tomorrow, it would have another chance to advance at 7 p.m. Monday. Coach John Cohen will decide on a starting pitcher tomorrow, and he listed Trevor Fitts, Myles Gentry and Jacob Lindgren as options. An MSU spokesman said tomorrow’s game will be a white-out, which means fans are encouraged to wear white.