Dawgs fall at State

STARKVILLE - Mississippi State took advantage of an error and a wild pitch in the 10th inning to rally past Georgia 3-2 Friday in front of 7,564 at Polk-Dement Stadium.

In the 10th, MSU leadoff batter Grant Hogue blooped a 3-2 offering in to right field for a base hit off Georgia senior closer Joshua Fields. It was only the fourth hit off of Fields this season. Then, Hogue collected his 16th stolen base of the year as Bryce Massanari's throw went in to centerfield allowing him to go to third. Then, Fields' wild pitch brought Hogue in for the victory. It was Georgia's fifth one-run loss of the year and second straight SEC loss in extra innings, and the first run that Fields has allowed this year.

Georgia (13-10, 4-2 SEC) went up 1-0 in the second on a bases-loaded single by third baseman Ryan Peisel after the Bulldogs chased MSU starter Tyler Whitney who walked five in 1.1 innings. After Peisel's single off Michael Busby, the freshman right-hander struck out Michael Demperio and got Gordon Beckham to bounce out to avoid a big inning. MSU tied the game in the third. Russ Sneed led off with a double to right center and eventually scored on a base hit by Jet Butler. MSU had a chance to take a lead in the fourth, putting runners at the corners with two outs but junior right-hander Trevor Holder struck out Russ Sneed to end the threat.

Beckham was hit by a pitch to start the fifth and then with one out, senior Matt Olson lined a triple to center to bring Beckham home and give the Bulldogs a 2-1 lead. Then, Busby kept it a one-run game with strikeouts of Joey Lewis and Massanari. MSU answered Georgia's run with one of its own in the bottom of the frame. With two outs, Hogue reached on a throwing error by Peisel and then went to second on his 15th stolen base of the year. Ryan Collins tied the game with a run-scoring single to right.

Holder got a no decision after pitching six innings and allowing just a pair of runs (one earned) on five hits with two walks and six strikeouts. Sophomore Dean Weaver came on for Holder in the seventh. Busby gave MSU a fine relief outing, going 6.2 innings and recording a career-high eight strikeouts. He allowed just one run on three hits before MSU turned to junior Chad Crosswhite in the ninth. Meanwhile, Weaver pitched two scoreless innings for the Bulldogs who then handed the ball to senior closer Joshua Fields in the bottom of the ninth. Fields pitched a perfect ninth.

"It's hard to win with only three hits plus we made a couple of errors, couple of baserunning mistakes and we just have to play better," said Georgia coach David Perno. "We had eight walks but couldn't get a breakthrough hit. You have to give some credit to Mississippi State's pitching. They did a good job and played with a lot of emotion for Coach Polk. We've have to a much better job at the plate Saturday and Sunday."

Fields got the loss to fall to 0-1 while Crosswhite went two scoreless innings to pick up the win to even his record at 2-2.

Friday marked MSU's first game since Polk announced he would be resigning at the end of the season. The series continues Saturday with first pitch scheduled for 3 p.m. ET. Georgia will start junior right-hander Stephen Dodson (3-1, 5.06 ERA) while MSU will counter with junior right-hander Lee Swindle (2-1, 3.63 ERA).


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