By NEMS Daily Journal
MSU 7, South Carolina 2
By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal
Recapping No. 24 MSU’s 7-2 win over No. 14 South Carolina on Saturday at Dudy Noble Field.
• The buzz: Mississippi State accomplished a lot with today’s win: It won the series, earned the No. 5 SEC Tournament seed, and reached the 40-win mark in the regular season for the first time since 1997. The Bulldogs (40-16, 16-14 SEC) will play 12th-seeded Missouri on Tuesday night to open tourney play; it’s a single-elimination day. South Carolina (39-16, 17-12) is the No. 4 seed and will play the Missouri-MSU winner on Wednesday.
• Big inning: MSU took a 2-1 lead in the second when Demarcus Henderson singled home a run and then later scored on an error. Two more runs came in the sixth, then three in the eighth.
• Key stats: MSU was 4 of 12 with runners in scoring position, while SC was 0 of 2. … With runners on third and less than two outs, MSU was 3 of 4. … The Gamecocks committed three errors, which led to two unearned runs.
• South Carolina at the plate: The Gamecocks had seven hits. … LB Dantzler hit a pair of solo home runs to right field, in the second and eighth innings. He has 14 homers on the year. … Max Schrock had two hits.
• MSU at the plate: MSU had 11 hits, marking the sixth straight game it’s recorded double-digit hits. … Henderson had three hits and two RBIs. … Adam Frazier and Brett Pirtle had two hits apiece. … Nick Ammirati stroked an RBI double in the eighth and drove in two runs on the day.
• South Carolina on the mound: Starter Jack Wynkoop (7-3) allowed four runs (two earned) on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out three and walked two. … Evan Beal allowed two runs on two hits in 1 2/3 innings. … Vince Fiori allowed a run in one-third of an inning, while Colby Holmes went two-thirds of an inning without allowing a run.
• MSU on the mound: Starter Jacob Lindgren went 4 1/3 innings, allowing one run on five hits with four strikeouts and a walk. … Ross Mitchell (10-0) worked 4 2/3 innings of one-run relief for the win. He gave up two hits, struck out one and walked one.
• Quotable: ”I’m not on any NCAA committees, so I’m not going to be able to help you with a question you guys might have for me. But I can tell you this, I’m really proud of our kids. We played the most difficult schedule in the Southeastern Conference.” – MSU coach John Cohen
• Bottom line: MSU finished the season on a strong note; in fact, this was its best series win of the year. Now it’s off to Hoover to defend last year’s SEC Tournament title, and after that the NCAA tournament selections. State has a strong case to host, and it could certainly help itself next week with a couple of wins.
Ole Miss 11, LSU 9
By Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal
If you’ve been following along on the blog you may have seen me hammer on the Ole Miss bullpen of late.
Well, the Rebels can thank their bullpen for helping them not get swept in Baton Rouge. Just following along in the box score it looks like the bullpen was not spectacular but was much more efficient than it has been.
More on that in a bit.
The disappointing news is that Bobby Wahl was absolutely lit up. He finishes the regular season undefeated at 9-0, but he was chased quickly today, lasting just 2.2 innings, giving up six hits and six runs, all earned.
Four pitchers threw behind Wahl. Chris Ellis went 2.1 innings. He absorbed five hits but gave up only one run. After Ellis, Tanner Bailey struggled, giving up two runs on two hits and two walks in only two-thirds of an inning.
But after Bailey, Matt Denny retired two of the three batters he faced — to get the win — and Brett Huber overcame his walks — three of them — because he allowed only one hit in 2.2 innings.
Offensively, the Rebels had 14 hits, led by Preston Overbey, who homered twice and drove in five runs. Austin Anderson and Will Allen also had home runs.
Andrew Mistone was 3-for-4.
Anderson, Stuart Turner, Overbey, Will Jamison and Will Allen had two hits each.
Ole Miss ends the regular season at 36-20 overall, 15-15 in SEC play. It was an NCAA 3 seed at College Station last year when it had 14 SEC regular season wins. It was a 2 seed at Virginia in 2010 when it went 16-14 in the regular season, the last time the Rebels had at least a break-even season in SEC play.
Today’s win gives the Rebels a 3-3 mark against RPI top 10 teams over the last six SEC games.
The offense was a pleasant surprise for a group that hasn’t been very consistent in scoring runs. Maybe it provides a little momentum for postseason.
The bigger question is how does Mike Bianco handle Bobby Wahl for next week’s SEC tournament? Obviously Wahl was out of his routine, but that should have made that big a difference. You want Bobby Wahl as rested and healthy as he can be for the NCAAs.