But the biggest key was Kyle Robinson's two home runs. He also mentioned "adjustment" in his post-game interview Friday night. It's one he said has never happened.
Robinson hails from Boca Raton, Fla. He said he sat down with an ESPN television crew early Friday. One of the questions had to do with his migration to the midwest from south Florida.
"They wanted to know how you get from there to here," he said. "We talked a little bit about it. They asked me how you make the adjustment to the cooler weather. I told them, 'I keep telling myself you just adjust after awhile.' But you don't. I've never been as cold as I was tonight."
It was brisk. Temperatures were in the lower 40s throughout the game. Light rain fell throughout the game. The wind made the air cut the skin.
Robinson gave the Bulldogs a chill. He hit a solo home run in the fourth to cut the MSU lead to 5-3. Then, he delivered the big blow, a two-run shot in the eighth to tie the game.
The Hogs got the wnning run in the eighth with some small ball. Dominic Ficociello pushed a bunt single to the third baseman. James McCann bunted him to second. Then, Carver delivered with a soft liner over the second baseman's head to plate Ficociello.
Carver was expecting off-speed pitches from State reliever Darryl Norris. He said UA hitting coach Todd Butler changed his stance slightly just before the at bat in the dugout.
"He just wanted me to widen my stance a little, spread out a little," Carver said. "That's all it was, a little adjustment. The rest was grace from God. That's all I can do to explain it. My coach really helped me with a nice tip and I tried to do it."
Butler said, "That was a nice adjustment by Tim against a good pitcher. I just told him there was going to be a lot of breaking stuff and to make the adjustment. The rest is up to Tim. He has to hit it and give him credit for a big hit in a big spot."
Robinson said he didn't get the pitch he was looking for on his second home run. He said head coach Dave Van Horn called him to a conference before the home run.
"He told me they had just thrown two sliders and not to expect any fast balls," Robinson said. "I was looking slider. But it was kinda funny, that was a fast ball. It was up and something I could handle. Coach just said, 'They aren't going to let you beat them with a fast ball.' But that's what they gave me."
Van Horn said, "Wow. Robinson had a tremendous night. A single and two home runs. Give him credit for that last one. I really thought they were going to throw him a slider and I told him that. But it was a fast ball. But it was elevated and he stayed on it."
Robinson's home runs were similar, to center field, some 410 feet away. The first was to the left of the batter's eye wall. The second was just to the right of the batter's eye wall.
"The wind was blowing from right to center, so you kinda knew it was helping a little," he said. "So anything away, you just try to keep in the middle of the field. That's what I did with both of them. The first I wasn't sure was high enough to get out. The second one, I kinda knew it was."
Robinson, who took the team lead with his seventh homer, let loose a yell when it made it over the wall, as he was getting to first base.
"That was just excitement," he said. "I thought it was going out and when it did, I let loose. I was pretty fired up."
Carver said it sent excitement through the dugout.
"We all knew then that we needed to go ahead and get that lead run then," Carver said. "That was a big blow."
The Hogs won their seventh straight game, most of them by one run.
"We've been in a bunch of them now," Van Horn said. "I think that's all there are, one-run games. I don't know if there are any other kind of games."
The Hogs, 25-8 overall, improved to 7-6 in SEC play. It's the first time they've been above .500 since the first game of SEC play when they beat Auburn. They were 3-6 after the first three weekends.
"It's been a climb," Van Horn said. "We couldn't buy a big hit for awhile and now we are getting them.
"Tonight, I just told them not to panic. We stayed calm. We finally got some pitches to hit."
Van Horn called reliever Cade Lynch (4-1) the key. The southpaw entered in the fourth after starter Brandon Moore gave up eight hits.
"That was big," Van Horn said. "Cade just kept 'em right where they were for four innings and gave us a chance. He was throwing strikes."
Nolan Sanburn pitched a perfect ninth for his seventh save. Sanburn needed just eight pitches, recording the final out on a strikeout.
Football coach Bobby Petrino threw out the first pitch.
Kyle Robinson moved from first to third on a single.
Cade Lynch recorded his fourth victory of the season.
Photos by Marc F. Henning, Hawgs Illustrated