#15 Mississippi State Nips Tigers, 12-8
April 18, 2006
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -
#15 Mississippi State (27-9) 001 003 224 - 12 13 3 Memphis (21-17) 001 002 050 - 8 10 2
Mississippi State first baseman Brad Jones capped a four-run ninth inning with his second home run of the game as the 15th-ranked Bulldogs outlasted Memphis, 12-8 in front of 2,063 fans at Nat Buring Stadium.
The three-run blast came after MSU pinch-hitter Brian LaNinfa produced what proved to be the game-winning hit, driving in Ed Easley on a single to leftfield.
Memphis used a five-run, two-out rally in the eighth inning to tie the ballgame. Will Petersen reached on a fielder's choice groundball and scored on Bill Moss' team-leading 17th double the left centerfield gap. Kyle Norrid then cut the Bulldog's lead to 8-6 with a towering homer over the trees beyond the leftfield wall.Adam Amar kept the inning alive with a single to center and Joey Lieberman tied things up at 8-8 with his ninth home run of the year.
The two teams were locked in a pitcher's dual early on before MSU crossed the first run of the game on an RBI-single by Easley. Memphis answered back with a single run in the bottom of the inning after Michael Murray reached on a walk and advanced all the way to third on a throwing error by Mississippi State starter Matt Lea. Former Bulldog Ben Grisham made it 1-1 with a sac fly to deep centerfield.
The Bulldogs seemingly took control of the contest with three runs in the top of the sixth, to go up 4-1, but K.K. Chalmers kept things close with a two-run longball over the leftfield wall.
A seventh-inning two-run home run by DH Joseph McCaskill and Jones' first home run--a two-run shot to right center made it 8-3.
MSU reliever Mitch Moreland was the winning pitcher. The southpaw came on in relief of Brett Cleveland to fire 1.1 scoreless innings. Tiger freshman Matt Yokley was the losing pitcher after giving up two runs in just a third of an inning.
The two teams will lock up at AutoZone Park tomorrow at 7:05 p.m. for the series finale. The game is the nightcap of a double header with the Memphis Redbirds, who play the Oklahoma Redhawks at 1:10 p.m.