MSU Defeats Missouri; North Carolina Up Next

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Freshman Jamie Gant allowed one run on five hits over a career-best six and one-thirds innings as the top-seeded Mississippi State Bulldogs knocked off the Missouri Tigers 10-5 to earn a spot in Sunday's championship game against second-seeded North Carolina.

Gant's stellar performance moved his record to 6-1 as he picked up his third victory of the postseason. Andy Shipman took the loss to drop his mark to 9-4 after allowing four earned runs on seven hits over one and two-thirds innings of work.

Both teams got on the board early with an RBI single by Matthew Brinson. Brinson scored the second run of the frame on a Brad Corley hit that was misplayed by the Tiger left fielder.

The Tigers (36-22) answered with three runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning when Ryan Rallo launched a three run blast over the left field wall off Bulldog starter Jeff Lacher.

The Bulldogs (42-19-1) found themselves down 4-2 entering the fourth inning when they strung together four singles scoring two runs tying the game at four.

The Tigers held a 5-4 lead until the Bulldogs came to bat in the sixth. Jeff Butts led it off with a single and advanced to second on an error. Maniscalco brought in Butts with a single and scored himself on Steve Gendron's single to left field. Brinson scored Jon Mungle on a groundout and Brad Corley singled through the right side to plate Gendron. State scored three more in the next inning to extend the lead to 8-5.

"Missouri is a good ballclub," said MSU head coach Ron Polk. "This was a game that could have gone either way until the sixth inning when we broke it open."

Butts would again lead off the inning with a single. Maniscalco tripled off the wall in right center field scoring Butts. The Diamond Dawgs chased Shipman from the game after just one and two-thirds innings. But his replacement, Parker, would fare no better when Mungle grounded out to score Maniscalco.

State and North Carolina meet in the championship game Sunday at 1:30 p.m.

"We won't feel sorry about the number of pitcher's we're going to throw because they will have to do the same thing," said Polk. "We definitely have a chance."

Official Stats.


  • Coach Polk said that Jacob Blakeney will start the first game against North Carolina but didn't know who would start the second game if MSU wins the first.
  • He also said that two pitchers wouldn't pitch Sunday, Paul Maholm and Jamie Gant.
  • Jamie Gant: "I didn't have my best stuff tonight. We have a great defense and they made all the plays."
  • Matthew Maniscalco said that the play at the plate on the pickoff play turned the game in the Bulldogs favor. Before that, the game was getting into a lull.
  • Balk Call: Coach Polk said the ump said a smart aleck remark to him when he came out to ask about it. That's when he lite into him. The ump apologized later. He did say that the ump did a good job.
  • At the end of the game, MSU had three true freshmen (Butts, Hunter and Corley) and three redshirt freshmen (Gant, Berkery and Tatum) on the field

  • Gene Swindoll is the owner of Gene's Page, the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports on the internet. The URL for Gene's Page is You can contact him by emailing

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