-- Aaron Fitt (@aaronfitt) April 23, 2014
In front of a record crowd of 8,496 at Trustman Park, Mississippi State rallied to beat Ole Miss 8-3 and win the Governor’s Cup.
The Bulldogs scored three times in the sixth and twice in the seventh to overcome a 3-2 deficit.
In his first career start, Lucas Laster gave up just two hits and three runs in 5 1/3 innings and Vance Tatum gave up just one hit in 3 2/3 innings for the win.
Winners of five straight, the Bulldogs began their rally in the sixth when Brett Pirtle walked and Gavin Collins followed with a single. C.T. Bradford’s grounder tied it at 3-3, and after a single by Demarcus Henderson, Wes Rea ripped a two-run single down the left field line.
"I think the story of the game was Wes Rea," MSU coach John Cohen told hailstate.com. "He gets the error at first and things haven't been going Wes' way. All of a sudden, he makes two scoop plays and got two huge hits in the ballgame for us. The true mark of a senior is what happens after a mistake and he came to me and said 'Coach, I'm going to block that thing up, don't worry. I'm going to help us win this game,' and that's exactly what he ended up doing."
Mississippi State has won five straight since dropping two of three against the Rebels a week and a half ago.
"It really was a team win," Cohen said. "I think since last Monday our kids have really come together and I hope we can stay on a roll here."
Top 25 Upsets
Jacksonville at (6) Florida: Dylan Dillard’s three-run homer was all Jacksonville needed as the Dolphins knocked off the Gators 3-1 at McKethan Stadium. It was Jacksonville’s third win over a top 20 team this season and ended Florida’s six-game win streak.
Starter Justin Russell (7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 K), who saw his weekend start pushed back because of inclement weather, shut down the Gators. He beat Texas Christian, which was ranked 19th at the time, earlier this season.
"He has a tendency to rise to the occasion," coach Tim Montez said. "I've been blessed over the year to coach some pretty good competitors from Matt Garza, to Cliff Lee to Doug Fister. While he doesn't have those types of tools, he competes as hard as any of those three, and that's what make him so good. His ability to compete and believe in his three pitches."
Seattle at (7) Washington: Skyler Genger and Mac Acker combined on a three-hit shutout and Seattle took advantage of a passed ball to blank the Huskies, 1-0.
Sophomore Genger, in the longest appearance of his career, gave up three hits and a walk in 7 1/3 innings while striking out five. Acker, a Washington transfer, pitched the ninth for his first save.
“Tonight started with Skyler, who did an outstanding job of keeping them off balance, and we were able to support him defensively,” Seattle coach Donny Harrel said.
Seattle scored the game’s only run in the fifth. Sam Finfer led off with a single and Cash McGuire walked. Grant Newton bunted the runners into scoring position and a passed ball against Huskies catcher Ryan Wiggins allowed Finfer to score.
Huskies starter Will Ballowe was strong (4.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 1 K) in defeat.
Southern Miss at (8) Alabama: Mason Robbins had four hits and drove in four runs as the Golden Eagles won 6-3 to sweep the two-game season series from the Tide.
“We earned a win (tonight) against a very good club who has been playing very well here of late,” said Southern Miss coach Scott Berry. “With this being the 100th meeting between the two teams, for Southern Miss to win this makes you feel good.”
Cameron Giannini allowed one run over 5 2/3 innings on five hits and four walks with five strikeouts to get the victory.
Texas A&M at (12) Rice: The Aggies built a 6-0 and held on to beat the Owls 6-5. Logan Taylor’s two-run triple was the key hit as A&M built its lead. Corey Ray (4-0) earned the win as he held the Owls at bay (6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 3 K) before a late rally fell short. Andrew Vinson got Rice's Andrew Murphy to fly out to center for his fourth save of the season.
Sam Houston State at (14) Houston: The Bearkats rallied from two deficits and scratched out a run in the ninth to win 5-4 at Cougar Field. Hayden Simerly scored the winning run on a sacrifice fly after he was hit by a pitch to start the inning.
"I thought we had great at-bats all night and we pitched well in spots and well enough to win the game," coach David Pierce said. "We just kept grinding it out all night. Houston has a great team and this is a great win for us."
Ryan Brinley pitched struck out the final batter to pick up his third save of the season.
(21) Oklahoma State at Oral Roberts: In front of the largest crowd at J.L. Johnson Stadium in a decade, Oral Roberts overcame a deficit and scored the game’s final nine runs to win 15-8, its fourth in a row over a Big 12 school.
The Golden Eagles have won five of their past six games against the Cowboys. The game was played in front of a sellout crowd with 2,418 fans in attendance, the largest crowd at J.L. Johnson Stadium since March 23, 2004, against Oklahoma. Tyler Boss and Matt Brandy led the Golden Eagles with three RBIs.
Liberty at (22) Clemson: Danny Grauer doubled and homered and three relievers held the Tigers without a run over the final five innings in a 4-3 win. Liberty relievers Shawn Clowers, Matt Marsh and Ashton Perritt combined to hold Clemson scoreless over the final five innings.
Other Top 25 Results
(1) Virginia at Virginia Commonwealth: Brandon Downes homered on the first pitch of the 10th inning as the Cavs outlasted VCU 5-4. Derek Fisher also homered. Nick Howard improved to 2-0 with 1 2/3 innings of relief, and Whit Mayberry worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the 10th inning to pick up his second save.
San Jose State at (2) Cal Poly: Senior first baseman Tim Wise had four hits and knocked in two runs and Slater Lee got his first win since late February as the Mustangs won their 11th in a row. Lee (3-1) allowed one run and five hits in five innings for his first decision in seven starts.
McNeese State at (3) Louisiana-Lafayette: Seniors Matt Hicks (5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K) and Ben Carter (4 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K) combined to blank McNeese State in an 8-0 win.
“For Matt to go five innings on about a 50-pitch limit was huge,” head coach Tony Robichaux said. “Him going five in the middle of the week really helped us rest some guys in our bullpen. Matt set such a good tempo by working fast and throwing strikes. You love to play defense behind a guy like that. Ben picked up where Matt left off. That’s the Ben Carter that we like to see. He had a good tight slider. It’s just a matter of him locating the fastball.”
Stetson at (4) Florida State: Three Seminoles pitchers combined for a three-hit shutout in a 4-0 win. Billy Strode (6 IP, 2 H, 5 SO) got his first win of the season.
(5) Oregon State at Sacramento State: Dylan Davis pitched 4 1/3 scoreless innings and drove in four runs in the Beavers’ 8-1 win against Sacramento State.
Tulane at (9) Louisiana State: The Tigers used seven pitchers to record the team’s 13th shutout of the season, 6-0 over Tulane. Junior lefthander Zac Person (2-1), the second of seven pitchers, earned the win, allowing one hit in an inning of work. Kyle Bouman started, working 4 1/3 innings and allowing three hits. LSU pounded 14 hits.
Texas-Pan American at (10) Texas: Mark Payton’s RBI single scored Brooks Marlow to break a 4-4 tie and lift Texas to a 5-4 win.
Davidson at (11) South Carolina: The Gamecocks broke open a 1-0 game with six runs in the sixth en route to an 8-0 win. Five South Carolina starters combined for the team’s 12th shutout this season. Freshman righthander Taylor Widener earned the win in relief with three perfect innings.
Western Kentucky at (13) Louisville: Freshman lefthander Josh Rogers pitched seven dominant innings and freshman outfielder Colin Lyman had a two-run single to lead the Cardinals to a 3-1 win.
Tennessee Tech at (17) Kentucky: In a game pitting two of the four highest-scoring teams in the nation, Micheal Thomas hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the eighth--the 10th home run in the game--lifting Kentucky to a wild 15-13 win. The teams combined for 28 runs, 31 hits and 18 extra-base hits. A.J. Reed was 2-for-4, but did not hit a home run.
(23) Texas Christian at Texas Tech: Jordan Kipper (6.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 4 SO) and two relievers combined to blank Texas Tech 4-0. TCU is 13-1 in April and has won five in a row.
(25) Vanderbilt at Memphis: Walker Buehler (9 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 10 SO) was outstanding in his first career complete game, and the Commodores scored twice in the eighth to rally for the 2-1 win. Bryan Reynolds had the go-ahead RBI double.