April 8, 2012
Starkville, Miss. - Mississippi State rallied for a run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to win 8-7 and clinch the series against Vanderbilt Sunday afternoon at Dudy Noble Field.
Vanderbilt (13-19, 4-8) left-hander Kevin Ziomek entered in the bottom of the ninth to a tie game after the Commodores scored a run on Anthony Gomez's two-out single in the top half of the inning. Ziomek walked the leadoff hitter Mitch Slauter but bounced back to retire the next two Bulldogs (20-12, 5-7). However, Darly Norris delivered the game-winner with a double into the right-center field gap that rolled all the way to the wall to score Slauter from first base.
The Commodores jumped out to an early lead with one run in the first and three more in the third. Gomez's RBI-single scored Kemp from second base and Spencer Navin's single scored Gomez for the first two runs of the third. John Norwood's clutch two-out, RBI-single pushed the Dores' lead to 5-3 before Mississippi State answered with three runs in the fourth and two more in the fifth. The Bulldogs eventually took the lead in the seventh with a two-out single from Hunter Renfroe. Kemp and Gomez each had three hits to pace the Dores with Kemp scoring three runs and reaching base four times. Gomez drove in two runs. Conrad Gregor, Riley Reynolds and Navin all added two hits apiece. Norris led the way for the Bulldogs going 3-for-4 with three RBI.
Ziomek (2-6) took his second loss of the weekend, allowing the winning run in the ninth. Luis Pollorena (1-0) earned the win recording the final out of the ninth for Mississippi State. VU starter Drew VerHagen pitched 3.1 innings, giving up three runs on three hits. State starter Caleb Reed lasted three innings, allowing four runs, three earned, on five hits.
Vanderbilt returns home for four games next week beginning with Wednesday's game against Belmont. First pitch for the Commodores and Bruins is slated for 6:30 p.m.