FINAL: No. 14 MSU 6, South Alabama 2. Bulldogs advance to Sunday’s 7 p.m. championship game. MSU will have two chances to advance to Super Regional.
By Brad Locke
NEMS Daily Journal
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.
• 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.
• 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.
Read more in Sunday’s NEMS Daily Journal newspaper.
FINAL – Ole Miss 8, Binghamton 4 in Raleigh. Rebels will now play at noon Sunday against loser of William & Mary.
By Parrish Alford
NEMS Daily Journal
RALEIGH – As it turns out, the Rebels needed Bobby Wahl to beat Binghamton, and the Bearcats didn’t go quietly. Wahl went seven innings and gave up eight hits. He entered the game with an opponent’s batting average of .189, but Binghamton hit him pretty good.
The difference for Wahl today was that he didn’t get in trouble with walks, which he often has this season. That was a big deal with the Bearcats having a good offensive day.
Wahl gave up two runs, both earned, walked two and struck out two. He threw 100 pitches.
The Rebels (38-23) got off to a fast start early with two runs against Binghamton right-hander Jake Lambert. As has been the case several times, they were not able to keep the pressure on and get Lambert out of the game early. He settled in, found a groove, and the Bearcats (30-25) pushed across single runs in the third and the sixth to tie the game at two.
Ole Miss took a commanding lead with four runs in the eighth, the runs scoring on a sac fly by pinch-hitter Sikes Orvis, a bases-loaded walk to Auston Bousfield – after Binghamton had intentionally walked Tanner Mathis – and an error at first base off a sharp ground ball from Austin Anderson.
Anderson went 4-for-5 today with four straight hits, one a ground-rule double, leading up to that at-bat.
Tanner Bailey pitched the last two innings. They were not clean – two errors and two hits in the eighth – and not without drama, but he closed it out. Bailey retired the side in order in the ninth.
The Rebels will play the NC State-William & Mary loser tomorrow at 12 CST.
The Rebels avoided their first 0-2 tournament appearance since 2004.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.
Read more in Sunday’s NEMS Daily Journal
Mississippi State and Ole Miss are back in action today in NCAA Baseball Regional play.
The Rebels will face No. 4 seed Binghamton in an elimination game at 1 p.m. CST today. For updates follow Daily Journal sports writer Parrish Alford from Raleigh on Twitter @parrishalford.
In Starkville: MSU (44-17) will play South Alabama at 7 p.m. today. For updates follow Daily Journal sports writer Brad Locke on Twitter @bradlocke.
In Raleigh :
RALEIGH, N.C. – Stuart Turner thought he got off a better swing on the game’s last pitch.
A home run in a hitter’s park would have been a walk-off game winner, but Turner was just off the mark.
The Rebels never did find the mark, going 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position. That and six walks from Mike Mayers – four of them in a disastrous four-run fifth inning – were too much to overcome and No. 3 seed William and Mary dropped No. 2 seed Ole Miss into the Raleigh Regional loser’s bracket in a 4-2 Rebels loss before 2,735 fans at Doak Field Friday afternoon.
The Rebels will face No. 4 seed Binghamton in an elimination game at 1 p.m. CST today, a game that will now feature Ole Miss ace Bobby Wahl.
In Starkville :
STARKVILLE – Kendall Graveman had to overcome some uncharacteristically poor defense by his team and by himself, but he finally got an elusive victory.
The senior right-hander tossed 61⁄3 strong innings, and No. 14 Mississippi State defeated Central Arkansas 5-3 on Friday night in the first round of the NCAA regional at Dudy Noble Field.
A crowd of 11,102 turned out for the first regional hosted by MSU in 10 years, and they saw the Bulldogs gain revenge on UCA, which won two of three here in the regular season.
When Graveman (6-5) exited in the seventh inning, he got a standing ovation, having given up two runs – one earned – on four hits with five strikeouts.
It was his first win since April 13.
MSU (44-17) will play South Alabama at 7 p.m. today, while UCA (39-21) will face Mercer at 2 in an elimination game.
NEMS Daily Journal