FINAL: MSU 4, LSU 3 (10 innings, SEC Tournament)

HOOVER, Ala. | Recapping MSU’s 4-3 win to LSU in the SEC Tournament at Regions Park on Friday.

The buzz: MSU (37-22) found its offense just in time, and light-hitting Matthew Britton, a late-game substitution, came through with a walk-off single in the 10th inning. MSU scored all four of its runs over the final three innings, including two in the ninth. Jacob Lindgren, a freshman making his first career start, overcame a rough start and was backed by another strong bullpen effort. LSU (43-16) was eliminated from the tournament, while MSU will face Kentucky at noon Saturday in the semifinals.

Big inning(s): It was 3-1 LSU in the ninth when Wes Rea led off with a double into the right field corner. Daryl Norris singled, and Adam Frazier drove in pinch runner Brent Brownlee with a one-out single. After closer Nick Goody (1-2) loaded the bases, Luis Pollorena – who had pinch run for Trey Porter in the eighth – tied the game with a sac fly.

In the 10th, Mitch Slauter led off with a double. Both coaches then had a lengthy discussion with the home plate ump over the batting order, making sure Britton indeed was supposed to hit in Rea’s spot (the ump was confused by MSU’s numerous substitutions). And Britton lined a pitch into center field to score Slauter, the ball nicking off the second baseman’s glove. An on-field celebration near second base ensued.

Key stats: MSU stranded 10 runners, eight of them in scoring position. LSU stranded seven. … LSU had just two hits over the final four innings.

MSU at the plate: MSU had 10 hits, six of them from the eighth inning on. … Shortstop Adam Frazier continued his hot hitting, going 3 of 4 with a walk, a run and an RBI. … Norris was 2 of 3 with a walk. … In the eighth, MSU got on the board on Hunter Renfroe‘s RBI single.

LSU at the plate: The Tigers had eight hits. … Mason Katz and Jordy Snikeris had two hits apiece. … Ty Ross hit a two-run single in the first inning. … Austin Nola‘s groundout RBI in the second gave LSU a 3-0 lead.

MSU on the mound: In 4 2/3 innings, Lindgren allowed three runs (all earned) on five hits, striking out three and walking two on 75 pitches. … Caleb Reed tossed 3 1/3 shutout innings, following by a scoreless ninth by Ross Mitchell. … Freshman Jonathan Holder (2-0) pitched the 10th and now holds the school record for consecutive scoreless innings pitched (26 1/3).

LSU on the mound: Starter Ryan Eades escaped some jams and wound up tossing six shutout innings. He gave up four hits, struck out one and walked four on 97 pitches. … Chris Cotton threw two innings. … Goody, a closer with 10 saves, was charged with three runs on four hits in 1 1/3 innings. … Nick Rumbelow served up Britton’s hit.

Bottom line: This team can be hard to explain sometimes. Pollorena, in his fourth at-bat of the year, gets his first RBI. Britton was hitting .149 before that final at-bat. This team just finds a way, and although it’s going to start running short of arms, who’s going to doubt they can pull it off against UK tomorrow?

Quotable: “It’s easy to say, well you know, we’ve got regionals next week, and we’ve played well down the stretch. But these kids didn’t have that attitude. They wanted to win the baseball game and did whatever it took.” – Cohen

Video: For the hero, Britton, CLICK HERE.

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