The Mississippi State Bulldogs picked up an 8-6 victory over the Clemson Tigers in the opening game of their Super Regional match-up. The Tigers jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning after Wilson Boyd led off the inning by reaching on an error by Jet Butler. Boyd was put in motion on the basepaths as Marquez Smith hit the ball where the second base would have been to put runners on the corners with no outs. Andy D’Alessio then proceeded to single to center to drive home Boyd and put runners on the corners again. Taylor Harbin then hit a sacrifice fly to right field to give the Tigers the 2-0 lead. Mississippi State then responded in the fifth inning with a two run homer from Connor Powers to tie the game at 2. In the top of the sixth inning, Marquez Smith got a lead-off walk and brought home on a homer from Andy D’Alessio to give the Tigers the 4-2 lead but the Tigers were not done as they tacked on another run to give them a 5-2 lead after 5.5 innings. The Bulldogs would come right back with a big rally in the bottom of the sixth which was started by a lead-off double by Joseph McCaskill. He was brought home by Edward Easley on a single to left field. Mitch Moreland then hit a two run homer to center field to tie the game at 5. Brandon Turner would follow with a double in the left-center gap which was followed by an error by J.D. Burgess putting runners on first and third. The Tigers would finally take out starter Daniel Moskos for Stephen Clyne. He promptly got Russ Sneed to hit into a double play which allowed the lead runner to score and give the Bulldogs a 6-5 lead. The Bulldogs tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the seventh on three hits as the Bulldogs led 8-5. Doug Hogan hit a homer in the top of the eighth to get the Tigers within two runs but they would not get closer.
The Clemson Tigers and Mississippi State Bulldogs will meet with a berth in the College World Series on the line. The games will be played in Starkville Mississippi at Dudy Noble Field, Polk-Dement Stadium starting on Friday at 12 pm on ESPN, Saturday at 12 pm on ESPN 2, and Sunday at 1 pm also on ESPN.
The Clemson Tigers went to the Myrtle Beach Regional and had a perfect weekend after defeating St. John’s 3-2, Coastal Carolina in the winner’s bracket 11-8, and played Coastal Carolina again in the Regional Championship in which they beat them again 15-3. The Tigers are led by head coach Jack Leggett who is 649-280 in his 14 seasons at Clemson. He was also the head coach at Western Carolina for nine years and Vermont for five seasons. His career record at all schools combined is 1026-570. The Tigers offense is led by catcher Doug Hogan who is hitting .339 for the season which is top on the team. Andy D’Alessio leads the Tigers with 16 homers on the season. Daniel Moskos leads the pitching staff as he made the transition from closer to the starting rotation in the middle of the season. He has only a 3-5 record with a 2.91 ERA. Ryan Hinson (6-2, 2.61 ERA) and David Kopp (6-2, 3.57 ERA) round out the rotation with D.J. Mitchell (5-0, 3.27 ERA) as a solid fourth starter. The Tigers have only said that Daniel Moskos will start Game 1.
Clemson Tourney Notes
Clemson Season Stats
Mississippi State (36-20)
The Bulldogs were the champions on the Tallahassee Regional after defeating Stetson 6-3, Florida State 3-0, and in the Regional Championship defeated the Seminoles again this time 9-4. The Bulldogs are led by legendary head coach Ron Polk who has been with Mississippi State for 28 years in two different stints. He has accumulated an 1,114-555-2 all-time record at MSU and has a career record of 1,348-667-2 with stints at Georgia and Georgia Southern included. The Bulldogs offense is led by Brandon Turner who is hitting .400 in 51 games. Edward Easley is second on the team with a .367 batting average while leading the team with 12 homers. The Bulldog pitching staff is led by lefty Justin Pigott who pitched seven innings while only giving up three hits in the 3-0 victory over the Seminoles. He has a 6-6 record with a 4.31 ERA. Chad Crosswhite will start the opening game of the Super Regional with his 8-4 record with a 4.16 ERA. Aaron Weatherford picked up a save last weekend against FSU as he has four saves on the season with a 3.34 ERA.
Friday: CU Daniel Moskos (3-5, 2.91 ERA) vs MSU Chad Crosswhite (8-4, 4.16 ERA)
Saturday: CU TBA vs MSU Justin Pigott (6-5, 4.31 ERA)
Sunday: CU TBA vs MSU TBA
The CBB predicts that Clemson takes the Super Regional in three games behind a solid weekend from Andy D’Alessio.
The Bulldogs learned late Monday night that they’ll host a best-of-three Super Regional against Clemson at Dudy Noble Field this weekend. Games will be played Friday and Saturday with an if-necessary third game set for Sunday.
Times are likely be set today to accommodate television.
The matchup with Clemson was assured after the second-seeded Tigers beat Conway (S.C.) Regional host and No. 1 seed Coastal Carolina 15-3 Monday afternoon.
Since both MSU (36-20) and Clemson (41-21) were No. 2 seeds in their respective regionals, the determination of the host site was up to the NCAA Division I Baseball Committee, which MSU athletic director Larry Templeton chairs.
The committee voted to send the Super Regional to Starkville, MSU spokesman Mike Nemeth said.
The FSU Seminoles picked up a big victory over the Stetson Hatters to force a rematch with Mississippi State on Sunday evening. The Seminoles used an eleven run seventh inning to blow open a 5-0 game. Tony Thomas Jr., Brandon Reichert, and Buster Posey all had three hits in the game to lead the Seminoles offense. Ryan Strauss started for the Noles as he went 7 innings as his record goes to 10-3. Stetson ends the season with a 42-21 record.
Mississippi State 9 FSU 4
Mississippi State eliminated the Florida State Seminoles from the NCAA Tournament after a 9-4 victory. Mitch Moreland went 2-4 with 3 RBI and pitched a scoreless ninth inning to lead the Bulldogs to the victory. MSU now prepares for a Super Regional against the Coastal Carolina/Clemson winner next weekend. FSU ends the season with a 49-13 mark.
The Stetson Hatters (42-20) picked up a victory in an elimination game over Bethune-Cookman 12-0. The Hatters got an excellent start from Corey Kluber who pitched seven shutout innings while scattering five hits. The Hatters offense was led by Justin Bass who went 2-6 with three RBI. Shane Jordan also had a solid game by going 3-6 with three runs scored from his leadoff spot. Angel Mercado and Drew Clark each picked up two hits in the game for the Wildcats. BCC ends the season with a 33-27 record while Stetson awaits FSU in the losers bracket.
Orlando Sentinel Recap
Mississippi State 3 FSU 0
Justin Pigott pitched 7.0 shutout innings and Aaron Weatherford pitched two shutout innings as the pair combined to shut down the Florida State offense limiting them to three hits in a 3-0 victory in the Tallahassee Regional. Russ Snead hit his second homer on the season in the game to lead the Bulldogs offense. MSU awaits the winner of the FSU-Stetson elimination game on Sunday.
The Bulldogs scored all six runs in the fourth inning through the seventh as they were able to handle the Stetson Hatters 6-3. Joseph McCaskill went 3-4 with an RBI to lead the offense for MSU. They will take on FSU on Saturday while Stetson will face Bethune-Cookman.
FSU 6 Bethune-Cookman 2
FSU scored five runs in the bottom of the seventh to take control of their opening round game against Bethune-Cookman. FSU was led by Buster Posey who went 3-4 with 2 RBI. The Seminoles will take on Mississippi State on Saturday while Bethune-Cookman will play Stetson.
The Florida State Seminoles was named the number 6 seed in the NCAA Baseball Tournament and was named the host of the Tallahassee Regional. They will be joined by Mississippi State, Stetson, and Bethune-Cookman.
Florida State (47-11)
The Florida State Seminoles enter this weekend after losing two out of three games in the ACC Tournament to put their overall record at 47-11. They are led by All-American candidates Bryan Henry and Tony Thomas Jr. Henry was named the ACC Pitcher of the Year after going a perfect 14-0 in his first 16 starts but picked up a loss in the ACC Tournament as he lost a 5-1 decision to Clemson. Tony Thomas Jr. has been hitting the ball well throughout the season as he is one of the top hitters in the country with his .442 average. He also has 32 doubles and 30 stolen bases in only 58 games. The Seminoles open the tournament by playing Bethune-Cookman at 7 pm on Friday.
The Mississippi State Bulldogs enter the NCAA Tourney with an at-large berth after finishing the season with a 33-20 overall record and 15-13 in the SEC. They are led by Brandon Turner who leads the team with a .407 batting average. Edward Easley leads the team with twelve homers on the season and is hitting at an impressive .373 average. The Bulldog starting pitching is weak with Justin Pigott leading the team in starts but has a 5-6 record with an ERA of 4.63. The other starting pitcher is Josh Johnson who is 2-3 with a 6.23 ERA in 12 starts. Mississippi State opens the tournament on Friday at 1pm when they play Stetson.
The Stetson Hatters enter the weekend as the Regular Season Champion of the Atlantic Sun Conference and reached the semifinals of the Conference Tournament so they picked up an at-large berth with a 41-19 overall record. The Hatters are led by 27th year head coach Pete Dunn who has won over a thousand games in his illustrious career. They are led by a strong pitching staff which has a staff ERA of 3.65. The top starter is Corey Kluber who has an 11-2 record with a slim ERA of 2.19. Number 2 starter Chris Ingoglia has a 9-5 mark and 2.98 ERA with four complete games. Robbie Elsemiller is the closer on the team and has a record of 3-1 with 12 saves and an ERA of 2.32. Justin Bass leads the team in hitting with a batting average of .365 and Shane Jordan is right behind him at .355. Stetson opens the weekend at 1 pm against Mississippi State on Friday.
Bethune-Cookman won the MEAC Conference Tournament to receive the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. They enter the weekend with an overall record of 33-25. The head coach is Mervyl Melendez who is in his eighth season with the school. He is led by Angel Mercado who is hitting .400 for the season in 52 games. Dustin Blackwell is the top pitcher for BCC with a 8-5 record and a 2.86 ERA. After looking over the BCC roster, the coaching staff is making a strong commitment to recruiting kids from Puerto Rico to give them the opportunity to play college baseball.
The CBB predicts that Florida State will win the regional but the sleeper team is Stetson with their strong pitching staff and could surprise some teams.
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – The University of Memphis record books were rewritten on Wednesday afternoon as the Tigers (27-16) exploded for a school-record 12 runs in the fifth inning to take command of the ballgame en route to a 19-8 thrashing of Southeast Missouri (25-17) in the series finale at Capaha Field. Adam Amar went 3-for-4 on the day to claim Memphis’ all-time hits mark, surpassing former Tiger standout Steve Moss’ 240 career hits.
The Tiger offense reset a total of four single-inning marks with the 12-run outburst. Among those new records are the 15 plate appearances, 14 at-bats and the 18 total bases. The former mark for runs scored in a single frame was 11, set by the 1978 Tigers in a 39-run route of Delta State.
Tulane 11, Nicholls State 5
METAIRIE, La. – The top six hitters in the Green Wave lineup combined to go 11-for-23 at the plate and the Green Wave used a nine-run fifth inning to erase a 5-0 deficit as the Tulane University baseball team defeated Nicholls State, 11-5, Wednesday evening at Zephyr Field.
Trailing 5-0 after four and a half innings, the team held a players-only meeting in the dugout and came out with a purpose as the Green Wave pounded out seven of their 13 hits in the stanza to snap a three-game losing streak. With the victory, Tulane improves to 29-14 on the year. Nicholls State, meanwhile, falls to 5-27.
No. 19 Mississippi State 7, Southern Miss 4
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Edward Easley finished with a walk, a double, two home runs and four RBIs to lead Mississippi State to a 7-4 win over Southern Miss, tonight, in the second midweek game, completing the two-game sweep.
The home team has swept the series for the past two years. Southern Miss won both games in 2006 in Hattiesburg, winning 13-6 and 6-3.
Mississippi State (27-10) scored seven runs on 11 hits and committed one error, while Southern Miss (25-18) scored four runs on eight hits and committed one error. Each team turned two double plays. The Golden Eagles left seven runners on base, while the Bulldogs stranded only four runners.
Ohio 7, Marshall 6
ATHENS, Ohio – For the second time this season Ohio used a come-from-behind effort at Bob Wren Stadium to upend the Marshall baseball team, this instance thanks to a game-tying, two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth followed by the winning run in the 11th for a 7-6 Bobcat victory on Wednesday.
Marshall led 6-4 heading into Ohio’s final at bat when freshman first baseman Marc Krauss hit a Nick Wolle (Coatesville, Pa.) offering over the left centerfield wall, his second home run of the game, to tie the contest and send it into extra innings. In the 11th inning, right fielder Matt Stiffler doubled and scored on a single by Jared Willis that was aided by a Herd error in left field.
Marshall (17-22) out-hit the Bobcats (15-23) 13-11 and stole two bases to Ohio’s zero.
The Reflector (Student newspaper of Mississippi State) checks in with an article about Title IX which is asking for protection of the men’s sports. The Mississippi State baseball coach Ron Polk is quoted saying “What I really want to see is Title X, Where’s our protection? Where’s the protection against men’s sports being cut?” I find this type of comment right on the mark because many schools have decided to cut funding for many sports at smaller school to get in complaince with Title IX. When I do start to have issues with Mr. Polk is when he states the following: “It doesn’t bother me at all that women’s softball gets to give out 20 scholarships, I just want to be able to offer the same amount, especially since we’re one of the biggest sources of revenue for the athletic department.” This is a very offensive statement because for many years MSU gave out a very large percentage of scholarships to his team and other male programs while forgetting about women’s athletics. Remember Women’s sports before Title IX? Very few people remember them before Title IX.
The full article is available here.
The 2006 brackets have been revealed for the NCAA Baseball Championships for this season. There was some surprises with Mississippi State getting into the Tournament over LSU. They finished higher in the standings and qualified for the SEC Tournament which MSU was stuck at home watching.
The bracket can be seen here.