FROM CBD NEWS SOURCE
OMAHA, Neb. – After falling to an early 2-0 deficit, Wes Rea led the Mississippi State Bulldogs’ offense to a come from behind 5-4 win on Saturday afternoon at TD Ameritrade Park against No. 3 Oregon State.
Mississippi State (49-18) will meet the Indiana Hoosiers on June 17 at 7 p.m. CT.
OSU struck early and was able to take advantage of an MSU error for a 2-0 lead. Tyler Smith led off the inning with a routine ground ball to third base. MSU’s Sam Frost fielded the ball cleanly but his throw was too far inside the baseline for Wes Rea to handle, and Smith advanced to second base on the error. After Andy Peterson laid down a sacrifice bunt to third base to advance Smith to third, Michael Conforto doubled him in on a line shot to left-centerfield. One out later, Danny Hayes singled up the middle to score Conforto for the Beavers final run of the inning.
But the Bulldogs weren’t down for long.
MSU reclaimed the lead, 3-2, in the top of the second inning beginning with Brett Pirtle reaching first base on a hit-by-pitch. Pirtle advanced to third on a double down the leftfield line from Rea, and C.T. Bradford walked to give the Bulldogs bases loaded with no outs. Frost singled to bring in MSU’s first run of the game; Demarcus Henderson added another RBI single and Frost scored on a fielding error from OSU rightfielder Dylan Davis.
OSU ended the inning with a double play when leftfielder Conforto caught a fly ball and drilled it home in time to catch Henderson tagging up, but the damage had already been done.
The three runs for MSU would be all that OSU’s Moore would allow until the eighth inning, and he would not allow an MSU runner to reach past second base until then.
With the lead, Graveman seemed to settle in and retired the next six in order. But in the bottom of the fourth, he walked leadoff hitter, Hayes, who represented the Beavers’ tying run. After Barnes struck out, Keyes squeezed out a triple when a diving Henderson fell short and chased the ball to the left field wall, allowing Hayes to score and tie the game at 3-3.
In the fifth, OSU scored the go-ahead run on a Peterson single, a Conforto ground roll double and a Davis RBI ground ball to second base to make it 4-3.
With time running out, the Bulldogs made an eighth inning push against a solid Moore. Alex Detz got the inning started with a single to right-centerfield, and with the single, OSU’s head coach Pat Casey pulled Moore from the game and replaced him with left-hander Matt Boyd.
Despite the pitching change, Renfroe continued the rally with a single to second and Rea knocked his second hit of the day, a double, to right-centerfield to give MSU the lead, 5-4.
Ross Mitchell earned the win for the Bulldogs, improving to 13-0 on the season, and Jonathan Holder notched his 19th save.
Mitchell went 2.2 innings and allowed no runs on three hits, one walk and struck out one. Holder pitched 1.2 scoreless innings and allowed only one hit, one walk and struck out three.
Matt Boyd (10-4) took the loss for OSU. Boyd went one inning and allowed one run on two hits and struck out one.
Conforto went 4-for-4 with two doubles, a walk and one RBI for OSU.