STARKVILLE, Miss. — The dynamic of a series can change with one pitch or one swing of the bat. Just ask Ole Miss and Mississippi State.
With the setting Dudy Noble Field in front of an NCAA record 15,586 fans, those in attendance couldn’t have been treated to a better finish, a 6-5 Mississippi State comeback win in 10 innings. However, things looked rather bleak for the home team Bulldogs entering the bottom half of the 10th.
After the two teams entered the 10th with the score tied 2-2, Ole Miss imposing first baseman Sikes Orvis hit a two-run home run over the wall in right-center field to give the Rebels a 4-2 lead. They increased their lead to 5-2 with an RBI single later in the inning, sending at least 800 fans headed for the exits.
Those fans would regret that move.
Mississippi State outfielder C.T. Bradford began the bottom of the 10th inning with a fly out to right field, but for some reason, that sparked an onslaught for the Bulldogs. State responded with doubles from Cody Brown and Seth Heck, while an error allowed Alex Detz to reach base, setting the stage for Brett Pirtle's sacrifice fly and Wes Rea’s RBI double to score another run and tie the game at 5-5. Rea looked to have just a single at first glance, but Ole Miss right fielder Will Jamison got aggressive and tried to make an acrobatic play, the ball caroming away just enough for the second and tying run to score.
The next hitter, talented freshman catcher Gavin Collins, laced a walk-off RBI single to left field to give the Bulldogs a miraculous 6-5 win, and thus, shifting the momentum of this series from completely on the side of Ole Miss, to suddenly, the MSU dugout.
Collins, a freshman from California, finished the game 3-for-5 with two RBIs, while outfielder Derrick Armstrong continued his hot hitting with a pair of hits.
TEAM OF THE DAY
How about this for an upset? Yellow Jackets leadoff hitter Daniel Spingola went 3-for-5 with a double, home run and two RBIs in a 12-4 win over Florida State to take an important home ACC series. Catcher Mitch Earnest had two hits and four RBIs, while on the mound, starting pitcher Devin Stanton held the Seminoles in check, striking out five, walking one and allowing just five hits in six shutout frames.
Georgia: Freshman righthanded pitcher Robert Tyler struck out five, walked two and allowed just three runs (two earned) on four hits in six innings, as the Bulldogs captured a series win over Tennessee with a 7-4 victory. While Tyler led the way on the mound, Daniel Nichols led the way at the plate with three hits and two RBIs.
Louisville: The Cardinals were in desperate need of a big series win, and got it on Saturday with a 3-2 win over Houston. UL righthanded pitcher Jared Ruxer struck out three and allowed just two runs (one earned) on five hits in six innings, while Cole Sturgeon and Nick Burdi were terrific out of the bullpen.
Clemson: Talented righthanded pitcher Daniel Gossett continues to see his stock rise, and he was impressive Saturday in a 7-1 road win over Virginia. Gossett struck out four and allowed just a run on five hits in seven innings. Meanwhile, at the plate, catcher Garrett Boulware went 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs.
Andrew Suarez, lhp, Miami: The rising lefthanded pitcher had yet another impressive performance in a 1-0 home win over Pittsburgh. He struck out nine, walked one and allowed just three hits in a complete game shutout performance.
LSU: Sophomore outfielder Mark Laird hit a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the ninth to guide the Tigers to a 5-4 victory over Arkansas. Third baseman Christian Ibarra led the Tigers at the plate with a home run, while Andrew Stevenson finished the afternoon with a pair of hits.
Florida: The Gators scored a run in the top of the 13th to beat South Carolina 4-3 on the road. Florida freshman two-way player A.J. Puk was terrific in relief, striking out three in 3 1/3 shutout innings, while at the plate, outfielder Harrison Bader had three hits to lead the offensive cause. UF righty Aaron Rhodes, making his first start, struck out four and allowed just two runs on six hits in five innings.
Gabe Clark, dh, Oregon State: The Beavers dropped the series opener to Washington State, but bounced back nicely with a 12-5 win on Saturday. OSU was led in the contest by Clark, who went 4-for-5 with a pair of doubles, two runs scored and four RBIs. Also worth noting, Michael Conforto and Dylan Davis totaled five hits and three RBIs.
Michael Fain, rhp, Nevada: Fain put together an outstanding performance in an 8-0 home win over San Diego State. The talented righty struck out six, didn’t walk anyone and allowed just five hits in 7 2/3 shutout innings. Meanwhile, at the plate, Trenton Brooks led the way with two hits and two RBIs.
New Mexico: The Lobos have quietly been very solid this season, and clinched a series win over Fresno State with an 11-6 victory on Saturday. UNM’s Chase Harris hit a home run in the contest and had three RBIs, while Alex Real, Andrew Vigil and Jared Holley each finished the afternoon with three hits.
Jeremy Strawn, rhp, Florida Atlantic: Strawn certainly has struggled at times this season, but stepped up in an 8-0 win over Charlotte at home. The righty struck out six, didn’t walk anyone and allowed three hits in a complete game shutout performance.
Blake Fox, lhp, Rice: The talented lefthanded pitcher has been fantastic this season and put together another solid start in a 2-1 road win over Tulane. Fox struck out eight, walked one and allowed just a run on six hits in 8 1/3 innings.
Scott Klever, rhp, Xavier: The talented righthander struck out five, walked one and allowed just two hits in a complete game shutout performance, 5-0 win over Villanova.
Oklahoma State: Cowboys shortstop Donnie Walton went 2-for-5 with a double and three RBIs, and Tanner Krietemeier went 5-for-6, as the Cowboys captured a 9-2 road win over West Virginia, and the overall series. On the mound, Tyler Buffett allowed a run on six hits in 4 2/3 innings, while Blake Battenfield allowed a run on six hits in 4 1/3 innings.
Texas: Longhorns lefthanded pitcher Dillon Petters allowed just two runs on seven hits in seven innings, as his club captured a 7-2 victory and the series from Oklahoma. Righty John Curtiss also threw well, tossing two shutout frames out of the bullpen, while shortstop C.J. Hinojosa went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs.
East Carolina: The Pirates clicked last weekend against Rice, and seemed to have things headed the right direction. However, they took a little step back this weekend with a series loss to Old Dominion, losing 9-5 Saturday. ECU starting pitcher Reid Love didn’t get out of the first inning and allowed four runs, while ODU starting pitcher Ryan Yarbrough had a solid start, striking out five and allowing just two runs on eight hits in six innings.