Diamond Dawgs Fall to Winthrop in 10

John Murrian's suicide squeeze bunt plated the first of two runs in the top of the 10th inning Friday afternoon as the Winthrop Eagles rallied for a come-from-behind 7-6 win over Mississippi State (8-2) in the opening round of the 2007 Quala-T Imprints Baylor Classic.

Mississippi State jumped out to a 2-0 lead off Winthrop starter Alex Wilson in the first inning and carried a 5-3 lead into the eighth inning. But the Eagles tied the score off MSU relief pitcher Chad Crosswhite (1-1), parlaying a walk, a single and a pair of fielding errors in the outfield into a two-run inning.

In the 10th Kevin Nolan singled to right to open the inning, advanced to third base on a pair of wild pitches, and raced home on Murrian's well-placed suicide squeeze bunt. The Eagles, coached by former MSU assistant Joe Hudak, added an insurance run when pinch-hitter Eddie Tisdale singled to left, stole second, moved to third on a Chris Carrara single to left and raced home when Carrara's hit got past State left fielder Joseph McCaskill.

The Bulldogs mounted a threat of their own in the 10th off Jason Franzblau, the third pitcher used by Winthrop. Mitch Moreland drew a walk and Brian LaNinfa singled to open the inning, and both advanced on Nick Hardy's pinch-hit sacrifice bunt. Moreland raced home on a wild pitch but Franzblau retired Connor Powers on a groundout to second base to end the rally and earn his first save of the year.

Ryan Mullins (3-2) worked three scoreless innings in relief of starter Alex Wilson, who was charged with five runs (two earned) on nine hits over six innings.

State starter Aaron Weatherford allowed three runs on nine hits with one walk and seven strikeouts. Crosswhite (0-1) gave up four runs (two earned) on four hits with three strikeouts in three innings.

Mitch Moreland, Brian LaNinfa and Mark Goforth had two hits each to lead the Bulldogs at the plate. Moreland and Easley extended their season-opening hitting streaks to all 10 games.

The Bulldogs take on the tournament host Baylor Bears Saturday at 6:30 p.m.


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