March 15, 2013
Bulldogs blow it in extra innings
STARKVILLE, Miss., - Mississippi State and LSU met five times on the diamond last season with four of those games being decided by one run with two going into extra innings.
It seemed only fitting that the initial meeting in 2013 would also go down to the wire. LSU first baseman Mason Katz connected with his second home run of the game in the top of the 10th inning to lift the second-ranked Tigers to a 6-4 victory in the conference opener for both.
The Bulldogs had just changed their battery to begin the extra frames going with sophomore Will Cox on the mound and senior Nick Ammirati behind the plate. Cox issued the leadoff walk then served up the towering blast to the league's top home run leader.
"We had a new catcher and a new pitcher in the ball game and that's my fault (for not visiting the mound before Katz' at bat)," said MSU skipper John Cohen. "I made an assumption there that we were really locked in and we were not. We served up their best hitter with two mask-high pitches right down the middle of the plate and that's really the difference in the ballgame, those two pitches."
Last year's SEC opener between the two teams also went 10-innings with the Tigers claiming a 3-2 victory despite Chris Stratton's 17 strikeout performance.
LSU improved to 16-2 overall on the year with seven hits. The Tigers were led at the plate by Katz, going 2-for-4 with two homers and four runs batted in.
"All the conditions were right," Cohen said. "The ball never carries like that at this ball park. We served up their best hitter with two great opportunities to leave the ball park and to his credit, he did it."
Third baseman Christian Ibarra was 2-for-3 with a pair of singles and an RBI while shortstop Alex Bregman was 2-for-5 with two singles.
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