Central Arkansas should be proud of themselves as they were able to end MSU's 17-game winning streak to start the 2013 season by winning 7-5 in 10 innings.
State won the first game of the series on Friday, 4-2. Jacob Lindgren started that game but was only able to throw 9 pitches and 1/3 of an inning before leaving the game after taking a line drive off his knee (all indications are he will be okay, but will have a MRI on Monday). Freshman Myles Gentry came in and threw 4.1 innings allowing no runs before giving way to five more Bulldog pitchers including Chad Girado who got the win, Will Cox who went two innings and Johnathon Holder who got the save. The Dawgs scored all their runs in the middle innings to get the W.
In this game, MSU found themselves battling back the entire afternoon. They were down 1-0, but tied it. 3-1 but tied it. Then 5-3 and tied it. But ultimately it happened too many times and Central Arkansas broke the streak by winning 7-5.
Evan Mitchell started the game but was unable to find the strikezone very often, walking three and hitting two he only made it through 2.2 innings before Ross Mitchell came in for relief. R. Mitchell went three pretty good innings but gave gave up two runs in the 6th (only one earned).
In the bottom of the 6th, the Bulldogs answered quickly to being down with two runs of their own. In a two-out rally, Norris, Porter and Ammiriti had back-to-back-to-back singles after a Henderson walk to score the runs.
MSU went through three pitchers in the 7th (Brown, Bradford, and Bracewell) but UCA was able to scratch off a couple more runs to get their lead back.
For the first time all year, State was forced to come to the plate in the bottom of the 9th. Adam Frazier grounded out to lead off the inning - so you'd figure that would be it, but this team kept fighting. After Bradford walked, Renfroe singled, Detz was hit by a pitch, and with two outs and a full count, Demarcus Henderson delivered a RBI single to the opposite field to tie the game and send it to extras.
John Cohen went through eight pitchers to get through the first 9 innings, so he went to Brandon Woodruff in the 10th. Woody only threw 12 pitches in a bad start on Tuesday, and it wasn't much better here as he walked the leadoff man to start things off. After a sac bunt to record the first out, Nick Flair (1B) was unable to corral the throw from Matthew Britton at 2B allowing Central Arkansas to score. Woodruff hit the next batter and Will Cox came in from the bullpen for the second straight game. Cox allowed the second run to score but was able to get a double play to stop the bleeding.
In a effort to erase a third two-run deficit in the bottom of the 10th, Frazier singled with Frost on base and one out, but he was thrown out trying to stretch it to a double. Bradford struck out and that was the end.
The Diamond Dawgs fall one game short of tying the school record for consecutive wins set in 2006, but they really didn't play a great game here. The pitching staff plunked six Bear hitters, two errors were committed and 12 men left on base. Still, you have to admire this team's grit and relentlessness in fighting back on a day when they weren't playing their best. Oh well. Need to rebound and take the series on Sunday at 1:30.