By: Sean Cartell
SEC Digital Network
Highlights | Box Score
HOOVER, Ala. – Fifth-seeded Mississippi State broke a 3-3 tie with a pair of runs in the top of the ninth inning Wednesday and held on to defeat fourth-seeded South Carolina, 5-3, in the Southeastern Conference Baseball Tournament at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium.
The Bulldogs (42-16) advance to face Texas A&M (32-25) in the fourth game on Thursday. South Carolina (39-17) will face Vanderbilt (48-8) in the second game on Thursday as part of the loser’s bracket.
Mississippi State got on the board with a pair of runs in the top of the first inning. Shortstop Adam Frazier singled to begin the game, advanced to second on a wild pitch and moved to third on a single by Hunter Renfroe. Wes Rea singled through the right side to score Frazier. Demarcus Henderson then singled to plate Renfroe and give the Bulldogs a 2-0 advantage.
Mississippi State added a run in the third inning to take a 3-0 lead as Brett Pirtle doubled down the left-field line to open the inning and scored on a sacrifice fly by Henderson.
South Carolina knotted the score at 3-3 in the bottom of the fourth inning, as Joey Pankake and LB Dantzler charted back-to-back singles followed by a Grayson Greiner walk. A walk by Max Schrock with the bases loaded plated Pankake before a single by Brison Celek scored Dantzler and Greiner.
In the top of the ninth inning, Frazier and Alex Detz opened with back-to-back singles. After a pop-up by Renfroe, Pirtle walked. Rea then singled to right field, driving in Frazier to put Mississippi State ahead 4-3. A single to left field by Henderson plated Pirtle for the Bulldogs’ fifth run of the game.
2013 SEC Baseball Tournament
Game 8 – Wednesday, May 22 – 7:30 p.m.
#4 South Carolina vs. #5 Mississippi State
Mississippi State Postgame Quotes
Head Coach John Cohen
“The story of the games is of course Miles. He’s a guy who struggled against left-handed hitters and he made a couple of adjustments tonight that really created some movements. He added and subtracted with his fastball tonight than in the past.”
On his team being able to win these tough situation games
“Things happen in ballgames; you have to deal with things. Our kids are resilient and you just got to keep on fighting and competing, and that’s what our kids did.”
On squeeze play
“I was kind of mad. That was a tough play. We practice it every day. It’s something you have to do. I tried my hardest. One thing you can’t do in that situation and that’s get mad about it. In the last weekend series, I bunted a lot on them. They probably thought something was coming. They were throwing it in a little bit all night so I decided to go in a little bit.”
On difference in playing in left and right field
“There’s not really a difference. The only difference is the lights and the ball gets in a lot. Last year I played a little bit in right so it’s not a big deal to me.”
On making contact against Nolan Belcher
“We do a good job of keeping charts on guys. We saw him four or five days ago. We kind of had an idea of what he was going to do. Unfortunately, he fell back into that same pattern and we were taking advantage of it a little bit.”
On contact over the last few weeks
“That’s just part of baseball. Sometimes you get on a roll and you’re feeling the barrel, sometimes you’re not. Fortunately, some of them have been falling.”
South Carolina Postgame Quotes
Coach Chad Holbrook
On Mississippi State’s hitters
“We had a chance to win the game, but it’s not on Adam and Tyler. We have to do more offensively to help our pitchers out. He battled and competed like he always does. It’s the same song and dance with him pitching. It’s a disappointing performance by us and we have to do more and play better or it will be a short postseason.”
On being down early
“Nolan didn’t have his best start. He settled in like good kids with backbone do. He didn’t have his great stuff, but he gave us a chance to win. That took a little life out of our dugout, but that’s no excuse. If someone scores a couple on us first, I would like to see us compete a little harder. We tied the game back up, but we had another opportunity. We couldn’t make contact.”
On Mississippi State’s approach
“We give them a lot of credit. They put a lot of great at-bats together today. They used a lot of the field and didn’t put a lot of balls in the air. There were a lot of line balls that got through. Their approach was really great today.”
On ground ball near second base that Joey took
“That was a tough ground ball. It was in an awkward spot and I didn’t know what I was going to do with it. At the last second, I decided I wanted it. I didn’t say something quick enough and he got there before me. It’s just tough.”
On Mississippi State’s hitters
“They have a good lineup. It feels like we’ve been playing these guys for months. We know each other. We know what they’re trying to do and they know what we’re trying to do. They put good swings on the ball. I probably didn’t get ahead as well as I should have. They found the holes in it. That’s how baseball goes.”
On the at-bat against Ray
“I was trying to go in. I felt like I made a good pitch. He got enough of it and put it through the hole.”