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March 15, 2009

Box Score

Starkville, Miss. – Mississippi State followed up four runs from yesterday in the second inning with three more today in the fourth inning as the Bulldogs won the continuation of Saturday’s halted game 10-3 vs. 17th ranked South Carolina. The two teams will conclude the series later this afternoon at Dudy Noble Field with first pitch set for 3:33 p.m. ET. The series finale is scheduled for seven innings.

Mississippi State reliever Greg Houston picked up the win after 1.1 scoreless innings of work. He allowed just one hit. Reliever Chad Crosswhite earned a save after hurling three innings of relief. South Carolina starter Blake Cooper suffered the loss and is 1-2 on the year. Cooper allowed four runs on four hits in two innings on Saturday and struck out three while walking two batters.

Before the fog hit on Saturday night, Mississippi State took a 4-0 lead vs. the Gamecocks. Consecutive singles from Ryan Duffy and Cody Freeman gave MSU a pair of runners and both were sacrificed to second and third base. Duffy would then score on Grant Hogue’s RBI base hit to left field. With two outs, the Bulldogs then loaded the bases and set the stage for Jet Butler. As he did in the first game against the Gamecocks, Butler produced for State as he drove a 1-2 pitch from Cooper down the left field line just fair for a double that cleared the bases and scored three runs.

After a scoreless third inning, the Bulldogs managed three runs vs. Gamecock reliever Nolan Belcher in the bottom of the fourth inning. Hogue opened the frame with a solo home run to left field, his first homer of the year. State then continued its clutch hitting with two outs as a single to left center by Russ Sneed scored both Ryan Collins and Luke Adkins giving Mississippi State a 7-0 advantage.

South Carolina got on the scoreboard in the fifth inning with a pair of runs. DeAngelo Mack and Andrew Crisp each singled and Kyle Enders drew a walk to load the bases. Pinch hitter Parker Bangs would drive in a run on a fielder’s choice and pinch hitter Casey Rihn tallied a RBI double as the Gamecocks drew closer to the Bulldogs with a score of 7-2. A single run in the eighth inning crept Carolina within four runs as Andrew Crisp recorded a two-out RBI base hit. Mississippi State, however, scored three more times in the eighth inning with a two-run single from Brent Brownlee the highlight of the frame as MSU built a seven-run cushion.

South Carolina received a stellar outing from Belcher despite the Gamecock loss. Belcher went 5.2 innings and allowed just four runs on seven hits while striking out six and walking one to keep Carolina in the contest.

MSU out-hit Carolina 13-7 with Sneed, Duffy, Freeman and Hogue all tallying two hits. Nick Ebert and Andrew Crisp were each 2-for-4 to lead Carolina at the plate.