Starkville, Miss. – Playing in their sixth elimination game in the past eight days, the Central Arkansas Bears showed that the threat of neither elimination nor rain was enough to put them away. The fourth-seeded Bears overcame a rain delay and a comeback attempt to win their first ever NCAA tournament game, defeating the third-seeded Mercer Bears by a final score of 6-5 in eleven innings to keep their season alive for at least one more day.
Central Arkansas (40-21) got the decisive run in the top half of the 11th when senior center fielder Jonathan Davis raced home from third base on a throwing error by Mercer (43-18) right fielder C.J. Reed. Blake Marchal hit a pop-up to shallow right field, and after Reed made the catch Davis made a move toward the plate, prompting Reed to throw home – a throw that sailed just over the glove of catcher Austin Barrett, allowing Davis to slide in for the go-ahead run.
Mississippi State 6 South Alabama 2
STARKVILLE, Miss. – Mississippi State advanced to the championship game of the Starkville Regional Saturday night.
The ninth-ranked Bulldogs (45-17) knocked off South Alabama 6-2 before a crowd of 11,124 at Dudy Noble Field. Top-seeded MSU is now the lone unbeaten in the four-team, double-elimination event
Central Arkansas and South Alabama will meet at 2 p.m. Sunday. The winner of that contest will play MSU at 7 p.m. in the tournament championship. That team would have to defeat MSU twice in the space of 24 hours. A potential second championship game would be at 7 p.m. Monday.
“We really needed another large crowd and we need to close it out Sunday night,” MSU head coach John Cohen said. “I am so proud of the team and the fans. It was another really great night for Mississippi State baseball. This thing is not over though. We have to come back out and play really well again Sunday night.”
Mississippi State Recap
South Alabama Recap