MSU Lose Lead and Game

ATLANTA, Ga. - Texas Tech erupted for eight runs in the eighth inning Saturday night and ended Mississippi State's postseason run with a 14-7 win at the NCAA Atlanta Regional. Tech (40-20) advances to Sunday's championship game against host Georgia Tech, while the Bulldogs finished their 2004 campaign with a 35-24 record.

A two-run Brad Jones home run gave MSU a 7-4 lead after seven innings. But relief ace Saunders Ramsey was unable to retire any of the six batters he faced upon entering the game in the eighth. A dozen Red Raiders came to the plate, parlaying two walks, a pair of hit batsmen and five run-scoring hits into a game-deciding eight run uprising. Cody Fuller's bloop two-run single gave Tech an 8-7 lead. Before MSU's second relief man, Jamie Gant, could end the uprising, the Red Raiders had taken a 12-7 lead.

The Bulldogs jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning, opening the frame with back-to-back singles by Jeffrey Rea and Steve Gendron and getting consecutive two-out RBI hits from Craig Tatum, Joseph Hunter and Brian LaNinfa.

MSU starter Todd Doolittle worked out of jams in the first and second innings before Josh Haney uncorked a game-tying three-run home run, his 11th blast of the year.

MSU answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning off TTU starter Steve Gooch when Brad Jones reached on an infield smash to second base and Tatum followed with his 13th home run of the campaign.

Gooch was replaced in the fourth inning by Corey Gerstner (8-1), who finished the game and allowed two runs on four hits over the final six frames. Those runs came in the seventh when Brad Corley drew a two-out walk and Jones followed with his ninth roundtripper of the game.

The first seven hitters in the Bulldog batting order hit safely in the game, with Rea and Tatum collecting two hits each. Joseph Hunter had one hit, hitting .727 (8-for-11) with a team-high five RBI in three games.

But Texas Tech piled up 17 hits, including four-hit performances by Haney and Michael Mask.

Brett Cleveland followed Doolittle to the hill for State in the fifth, ending a Tech rally that inning and allowing one unearned run on three hits over the next two frames. Jamie Gant finished the game for State and was charged with four runs on five hits.


TTU 003 000 182 --- 14-7-1
MSU 302 000 200 --- 7-10-3

WP --- Corey Gerstner (8-1). LP --- Saunders Ramsey (7-2). HR --- Michael Mask (15), Josh Haney (11), Brad Jones (9), Craig Tatum (13). T --- 2:52. ATT --- 1,025.

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