Holland’s walk-off gives MSU dramatic victory

John Holland

John Holland

STARKVILLE John Holland’s RBI-single in the home half of the 10th inning lifted the No. 13 Mississippi State baseball team to a 6-5 win over Western Kentucky in a Tuesday afternoon college baseball game played at Dudy Noble Field.

The Bulldogs scored in the ninth inning and then won the contest in the 10th inning, which was the first extra-inning game of the season. MSU won by walk-off fashion for the first time since a 6-5 win over Ole Miss on April 12, 2014.

Senior left-hander Lucas Laster turned in another quality start for the Bulldogs. Laster allowed four hits and three runs (two earned), with five strikeouts and a walk. Daniel Brown followed and ran into trouble in the ninth inning when the Hilltoppers struck with back-to-back home runs for a 5-4 lead.

MSU (15-3) built a 4-0 lead in the fourth inning.

Things got started when Wes Rea drew a leadoff walk. Reid Humphreys followed with a two-run home run – the Bulldogs’ first round-tripper against Marshall since February 21.

Matt Spruill kept things going with a base hit. Josh Lovelady reached as a hit batsman. Ryan Gridley and Brent Rooker followed with back-to-back RBI-singles.

WKU (6-8) answered with two runs in the fifth inning. Danny Hudzina hit the first of his two home runs in that at-bat. Paul Murray also had an RBI-double. After that hit, Laster retired eight of the final nine he faced.

MSU would then hold the lead through a difficult eighth inning when WKU scored once but got back-to-back strikeouts by Brown to snuff that threat. Brown was then touched for home runs by Hudzina and Kaleb Duckworth.

A leadoff single by Seth Heck started things in the ninth inning. A walk and two wild pitches helped get the game-tying run home. Holland drove pinch runner Michael Smith home with the game-winner an inning later.

MSU finished with 13 hits. Gridley, Heck and Lovelady had multiple hits. Trevor Fitts (1-1) got the final out in the 10th inning to pick up the win.

WKU finished with nine hits. Hudzina, Murray and Leiff Clarkson each had multiple hits. Breannan Pearson (0-3) took the loss in relief.

The teams complete their series with a 5 p.m. start Wednesday at Dudy Noble Field. The contest will be available nationally on SEC Network +.

(From MSU Media Relations)

I have covered Mississippi State in some capacity since 2004 and joined the Daily Journal staff in 2013. I enjoy short walks on the beach, performing concerts in my car and watching professional wrestling.

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