Bulldogs Salvage Sunday Game

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Mississippi State scored twice in the 11th inning and relief pitcher Justin Pigott picked up his second consecutive SEC Sunday road win in extra innings as State topped Alabama 4-2 at Sewell-Thomas Field. The win salvaged a tough three-game series in Tuscaloosa for the Bulldogs (22-3, 5-3 SEC), who dropped 5-3 and 5-4 decisions to the Crimson Tide (22-9, 7-2 SEC).

Edward Easley and Mitch Moreland delivered run-scoring doubles in the 11th to make a winner of Pigott (2-0), who struck out four and scattered three hits in four innings of scoreless relief.

Easley went 3-for-6 and drove in two runs while Jeffrey Rea and Moreland collected two hits each for the Bulldogs, who were out-hit 11-10 but were issued seven walks by Tide pitching. Thomas Berkery singled in his third plate appearance to extend his career-best and SEC-leading hitting streak to 22 games. The Bulldog shortstop has hit safely in 24 of MSU's 25 games.

Alabama took the early lead off MSU starter Jon Lalor in the second inning on a disputed umpiring call. Kody Valverde walked, Alex Avila singled and Spencer Pennington was struck by a pitch to load the bases. Ryan Rhoden then laced a shot down the first base line that first base umpire and crew chief Paul Guillie appeared initially to have signaled foul. But home plate umpire Nelson Graham ruled Rhoden's hit fair, with two runners touching home on the play. State averted further damage when center fielder Joseph Hunter reeled in a fly ball off the bat of Brandon Belcher and threw a strike to catcher Wyn Diggs to nail Pennington attempting to score from third.

Alabama maintained its 2-0 lead until the seventh when MSU, after leaving the bases loaded in the sixth, struck for two runs on three hits. Brian LaNinfa and Joseph Hunter singled, Jeffrey Rea plated a run when he reached on a fielder's choice groundout and Easley followed with a game-tying single up the middle off UA starter Tommy Hunter.

Chad Crosswhite replaced Lalor and ended a bases-loaded jam for State in the sixth while Jordan Davis followed Hunter to the hill after two State had tied the score.

Crosswhite worked an inning and a third of scoreless relief while Pigott, who earned the win in relief in State's series-clinching extra-winning Sunday win at LSU last weekend, left a pair of Alabama base-runners on board in the eighth and ninth and got an inning-ending double play, State's fourth of the afternoon, to end the 10th. The southpaw from Picayune, Miss., retired Alabama in order in the 11th to earn the win.

Spencer Pennington went 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles to lead Alabama at the plate.

Mississippi State continues is season-longest six-game road run with a trio of midweek games. State visits Louisiana Tech Tuesday (6 p.m.) and tests Louisiana-Monroe in a day/night double-header Wednesday (4 p.m./7 p.m.) at Trustmark Park in Pearl, Miss. State then returns to campus for a three-game Super Bulldog Weekend SEC weekend series with Georgia Apr. 7-9.

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