Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
No. 15 Miss. St. Pulls Away Late in 9-2 Win Over Baseball
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: March 12, 2006
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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            Starkville, Miss. ?- The No. 15-ranked Mississippi State baseball team scored five runs in the eighth inning to pull away from Arizona in a 9-2 win at Dudy Noble Field on Saturday. The victory, delayed 56 minutes by rain, handed the Bulldogs the three-game series win and kept them unbeaten at 10-0. Arizona dropped to 10-7 with its second straight loss.


            The Bulldogs exploded for five runs on three hits and took advantage of three consecutive walks by reliever Daniel Schlereth in the eighth to break open what was a close two-run ball game.


MSU’s Andy Rice delivered the big blow with a three-run double to left center to hand the Bulldogs an 8-3 advantage. Joseph Hunter opened the scoring the inning with a RBI on a bases loaded walk, and Joseph McCaskill chipped in with a RBI-single to cap off the scoring in the frame.


            MSU, which trailed 2-0 after the first two and half innings, cut the UA advantage to one with a run in the bottom of the third and took the lead with three runs on four hits in the fourth.


            Offensively, MSU finished the contest with 13 hits as all nine starters collected at least one hit in the game. Jeffrey Rae was a catalyst for the Bulldogs, finishing 4 for 4 with a pair of runs scored and a RBI out of the leadoff spot. Hunter added a pair of RBI for MSU in the win.


            Bulldogs’ starter Josh Johnson (3-0) picked up his third win of the season after limiting Arizona to two runs on six hits in five innings of work. Reliever Mike Valentine, who finished with two strikeouts and no walks, picked up his first save after working a hitless final two innings.


Arizona starter Preston Guilmet (1-2) was charged with the loss after giving up three runs on five hits in 3 1/3 innings of work.


David Plante and Konrad Schmidt each finished with two hits for the Wildcats in the loss.


Arizona will attempt to avoid its first three-game series sweep since 2004 in the weekend finale with MSU on Sunday. First pitch is slated for 12:30 p.m. MST with left-hander Brad Mills the scheduled starter for the Wildcats.

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