After five innings of play Thursday night at Dudy Noble, it looked like State was headed for another disappointing series opening loss, and one that would severely hamper any remaining hopes of hosting a regional in Starkville. Luis Pollorena was not on his best game, State left countless runners on base, and things just seemed to be headed for another disappointing L for one of the most talented MSU teams in recent history.
And then something happened, something that MSU fans probably weren't expecting. With just six outs left between them and a loss, State stepped to the plate in the bottom of the 8th inning and mounted a remarkable four-run comeback, which got kicked off with a Wes Rea BOMB to left field. C.T. Bradford and Demarcus Henderson would follow that with singles, and then trusty Nick Ammirati added yet another single, scoring Bradford to make it a 4-3 game. Adam Frazier then added yet another single of his own, scoring another run and knotting the game up at 4 a piece. After the runners moved up on a wild pitch, South Carolina then intentionally walked Hunter Renfroe, bringing Brett Pirtle to the plate. Gamecock closer Tyler Webb, who has been reliable throughout the season, then walked Pirtle, giving the Bulldogs the lead at 5-4, a lead that would last for good.
After a leadoff walk to start the 9th inning, God's gonna cut you down began playing over the loudspeaker, and it was time for closer Jonathan Holder to come on and close out the game. Holder did what Holder always does, as he got out of the jam, earning his school record 15th save of the season.
Last night was also a big night for us MSU baseball fans, as Dudy Noble Field received its 5,000,000th fan since the school began keeping up with attendance in 1976. That's a pretty cool feat. Here's a look at who the 5,000,000th fan was (assuming the wife, because well [smacks husband with purse, tells not to be selfish]).
The win pushed MSU to 39-15 (15-13 SEC) on the season, while South Carolina fell to 38-15 (16-11 SEC) on the season. With this being the final weekend of the regular season, each win is enormous, so the comeback last night was a huge boost for State and their postseason hopes.
It's safe to say that the team was quite excited about it as well:
The Bulldogs and Gamecocks will lace them back up and do it all over again tonight in yet another greatly important game between the two teams. First pitch is set for 6:30, and remember, the first 5,000 fans will get this cool lapel pin commemorating 5,000,000 fans at Dudy Noble Field.