Miss. St. nearing finals
Posted: Tuesday, June 18, 2013 7:00 pm
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Trey Porter surely made the home folks proud back in Hurley, Miss., population 950.
With Porter driving in the go-ahead runs in the eighth inning, Mississippi State took control of its bracket in the College World Series with a 5-4 victory over Indiana on Monday night.
The senior came into the game with a total of seven at-bats in the last month. By the end of the night, Bulldogs fans in the crowd of 25,260 were chanting his name.
“I guess being a kid from a small hometown,” he said, “you set out to play in the College World Series one day, but you never see it happening because there are so many baseball players out there, so much talent.
“I just happened to step in the box when the game was on the line, and anybody else could have stepped up on this team — that’s how we are. We fight until the end, we never give up.”
The Bulldogs (50-18) need one win to reach next week’s best-of-three finals. They’re off until Friday, when they’ll play Indiana (49-15) or Oregon State.
Those teams play an elimination game Wednesday night.
Porter’s clutch hit didn’t end the drama against the Hoosiers, who are in the CWS for the first time.
Sam Travis just missed tying the game in the bottom of the ninth when his fly to left-center bounced off the wall, just under the yellow line, and he ended up with a double.
Scott Donley’s groundout made it a one-run game and brought on Bulldogs closer Jonathan Holder.
Michael Basil chopped the ball in front of the mound. Holder fielded it cleanly, but he short-armed his throw to first and Wes Rea had to pick it up on the bounce.
“He doesn’t move his feet and throws the ball in the dirt to make everybody’s heart stop,” Bulldogs coach John Cohen said.
Chad Girodo (9-1) pitched a strong 61⁄3 innings in relief of Mississippi State starter Trevor Fitts.
Girodo struck out 10 in his second-longest outing of the season and allowed two runs on seven hits.
Girodo held off the Hoosiers when they had runners in scoring position in the fifth and seventh innings.
“You get the guys over and you don’t finish the deal, that seemed to be the story of our middle innings there, and it’s a credit to him,” Indiana coach Tracy Smith said of Girodo.
Holder required just two pitches to earn his 20th save.
“I really wanted to finish for myself,” Girodo said.
Published in The Messenger 6.18.13