By: Nolan Alexander
Luis Pollorena and Caleb Reed worked together to give 3rd seeded Mississippi State an eight-hit shutout of 2nd seed Southern Miss in the 3-0 win for the Bulldogs to open the Atlanta regional. Facing Southern Miss for the second time this season, MSU starter Luis Pollorena (7-5) pulled off an even more impressive performance this time around by pitching six innings giving up five hits, 3 walks, and 3 strikeouts. Caleb Reed earned his 12th save of the season through three innings of three hit baseball throwing in four strikeouts and a walk.
Mississippi State, who is in the postseason for the frst time since a trip to the CWS in 2007, jumped on the scoreboard early in the top of the first inning when Nick Vickerson knocked in a run on an RBI double to left field. State added two more runs in the sixth inning on a 2 RBI single by Brent Brownlee. Brownlee entered the game in the fourth inning as a defensive substitution. His single was part of seven hits on the day for the Mississippi State offense. Southern Miss starting pitcher Todd McInnis(8-3) threw his second consecutive complete game striking out six and walking 2 as part of his three earned runs. The Golden Eagles let another good start go to waste by extending their scoreless streak to 25 innings.
“I wish I knew, I just don‟t know. We just have not swung the bats well at all. This is the time of year you can really start
swinging it, and we haven‟t here late in the year. I just don‟t know what the reason is for that, I wish I did. We‟ve got to do
better. We‟ve worked some counts very well. Against their starter, we got him up to 118 pitches in six innings, but we leave 10
runners on and we have some base running mistakes that just killed us.”-Coach Scott Berry
Southern Miss will battle Georgia Tech in the loser’s bracket with first pitch scheduled for 3 P.M. Saturday. Mississippi State will square off against Austin Peay in the 7 P.M. nightcap for the winner’s bracket in the Atlanta Regional.
Austin Peay 2 Georgia Tech 1
Coach Gary McClure’s decision to save staff ace Jeremy Dobbs for Saturday may turn out to be one of the best decisions in the regional. Jack Snodgrass came away with one of the biggest wins the Austin Peay program has ever had. Snodgrass (4-6) gave up only one earned run on a Brandon Thomas RBI single in the fourth in 118 pitches striking out and walking three batters apiece. The left hander also gave up seven hits. Zach Toney threw the last inning and a third to earned save number two on the season. Georgia Tech left ten runners on base-seven of which were in scoring position. Austin Peay started the scoring when John Hogan scored on a Matt Wollenzin sacrifice fly to center. The Governors added one more in the sixth on a solo shot over the right field wall by Jordan Hankins. Golden Spikes award semifinalist Mark Pope started the game for the Yellow Jackets but left after 1.2 innings with an injury. Matthew Grimes rushed on the spot and pitched a solid 6.2 innings of relief with two earned runs scattering three hits while striking out eight batters with just one walk.
Austin Peay will throw Ohio Valley Conference Pitcher of the Year Jeremy Dobbs tomorrow against Mississippi State in the winner’s bracket at 7 P.M. Georgia Tech will face Southern Miss at 3 P.M. where the loser’s season is over.