Mississippi State Rallies Past Arkansas 6-4
BY ANDRES FOCIL
STARKVILLE, MISS. – The Mississippi State Bulldogs put up five runs in the sixth inning to rally from a 4-1 deficit to claim a series victory over the Arkansas Razorbacks with a 6-4 win in the Sunday finale.
Arkansas dropped to 19-13 overall and 5-7 in the Southeastern Conference, while the Bulldogs improved to 21-12 overall and 8-6 in the SEC.
Gary Hogan, Jr., who pitched two-thirds of an inning in relief, took the loss to drop to 3-4 on the year. Hogan allowed three runs, all earned, on two hits with two walks and a strikeout. Jonathen Papelbon moved to 2-2 after going four innings in relief without allowing a run. Papelbon gave up just four hits and struck out three in earning the win. Robby Goodson pitched the final two innings to earn the save. Goodson did not give up a hit and walked only one batter.
The Razorbacks manufactured a run in the top of the first inning. Cliff Crouse began the inning with a double down the left field line, then stole third. Andrew Wishy then grounded out to short to bring Crouse in for a 1-0 Arkansas lead. It was Wishy’s third RBI of the series.
The Razorbacks kept the Bulldogs off the scoreboard in the first inning. With Matthew Maniscalco at first, Matthew Brinson singled to right field. Mansicalco rounded second and headed for third, but was gunned down on a strong throw from Ryan Fox for the second out of the inning.
Michael Conner gave the Razorbacks a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning. Conner walked to begin the inning, moved to second on a wild pitch, then moved to third on an infield single by Nick Pitts. With two outs, Conner came in to score on the second Mississippi State wild pitch of the inning.
Arkansas added another run in the top of the third inning on Ryan Fox’s RBI single. With two outs, Andrew Wishy singled through the left side and moved to second on a passed ball. Wishy then scored on Fox’s single up the middle for a 3-0 Razorback lead.
Mississippi State tallied a run in the bottom of the third inning. Matthew Brinson singled to center to score Matthew Maniscalco who doubled to lead off the inning. Michael Conner saved two runs in the inning, one with a diving catch on the warning track and another with a jumping catch against the centerfield wall which ended the inning.
The Razorbacks increased their lead to 4-1 in the fourth inning. Nick Pitts was hit by a pitch to begin the inning and went to third on a single by Brett Hagedorn. Cody Clark plated Pitts with a sacrifice fly to center to give the Razorbacks a three run advantage.
Mississippi State rallied in the bottom of the sixth inning. Jason Burkley walked to begin the inning and scored on Brent Lewis’ double off the wall in center to cut the Arkansas led to 4-2. Clint Brannon, who relieved Roehl in the fifth, was relieved by Gary Hogan, Jr., after the run scored in the sixth.
The Bulldogs’ Steve Gendron singled to center to put runners on the corners with no outs. Jon Mungle then laced a single to center that plated Lewis and brought the Bulldogs within 4-3. With two on, Hogan walked Burkley to load the bases and then walked Henry on a 3-2 pitch to score the tying run.
Jonathan Richmond relieved Hogan with the bases loaded and two outs. On a 2-2 pitch, Brinson blooped a single to shallow left field that scored two runs and give Mississippi State a 6-4 lead. Richmond forced Burkley to fly out to right to end the inning after five runs had crossed the plate.
Mississippi State relief pitching kept the Razorbacks off the scoreboard over the final three innings. Arkansas put two runners on with no outs in the seventh and eight innings, only to come up empty.
Arkansas will now take on Oral Roberts on Tuesday, April 16, in Tulsa. The game is slated for a 7 p.m. start.
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