Mississippi State tops Tennessee 2-1 in 11 innings

By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal

Recapping MSU’s 2-1 win over Tennessee in 11 innings on Thursday at Dudy Noble Field.

• The buzz: The Bulldogs (22-16, 6-10 SEC) got another superb outing from pitcher Chris Stratton and finally found some timely offense in the 11th, and they snapped a four-game losing streak. Mitch Slauter, the junior catcher, had the game-winning RBI after squatting behind the plate for 11 innings.

• Big inning: In the top of the 11th, C.T. Bradford threw out a runner at the plate to end a Tennessee threat. Then in the bottom half, Trey Porter doubled off the wall in right, Wes Rea reached on a bunt, and Bradford was intetionally walked. Luis Pollorena, normally a pitcher who pinch-ran for Porter, just beat the throw home after Slauter flew out to shallow center field.

• Key stats: MSU left nine men on base, Tennessee stranded seven. … UT didn’t get a hit until the fourth inning. … Tennessee’s pitchers issued six walks, MSU’s issued two.

• Bottom line: As the second half of the SEC schedule gets under way, MSU needs to make a move if it wants to be playing in any kind of postseason. The offense is still clearly a weak point, and so continued strong pitching is a must. MSU is now 2-4 in extra-inning games this season, including 1-3 in SEC play.

• Quotable: “We talked about it right before the play, and he just said yes, so I said, OK, I’m going to try to run as fast as I can. I was trying to move my little legs, and it worked out.” – Pollorena, on the decision to tag up on Slauter’s sac fly

Click here for more at Brad Locke’s Inside Mississippi State Sports

Read more in Friday’s NEMS Daily Journal newspaper. Video below – Mississippi State catcher Mitch Slauter talks about his team’s 2-1 win over Tennessee. He had the game-winning RBI. Thursday, April 19, 2012.