June 15, 2013

MSU holds off Beavers for Omaha win

OMAHA, Neb., - A rollercoaster ride of emotions befell Mississippi State players, coaches and fans alike on the final play of the opening game of the College World Series on Saturday.

The Bulldogs held a 5-4 lead over Oregon State with two outs and two on in the bottom of the ninth inning. Beaver first baseman Danny Hayes belted a 2-2 curveball from MSU closer Jonathan Holder high and deep to right field.

Hayes flipped the bat into the air believing he had just lifted his team to victory with a walk-off homer. Diamond Dogs right fielder Hunter Renfroe drifted back to the warning track and lifted his glove just inches from the wall to record the final out preserving Mississippi State's first win in Omaha since 1998.

"Yeah, I think everybody might have had a shaky felling there," Holder said. "But I left a curveball hanging there for a second and he hit it pretty good. I thought he might have got it a little off the end of the bat and the wind helped me out a little bit. But like Coach (John) Cohen says, sometimes it falls for you and sometimes it doesn't. Today it was in our favor."

The Bulldogs rallied from behind on three separate occasions during the game and improved to 49-18 on the year.

"This group never quits," Cohen said. "They will never give in. The character of this bunch is unbelievable. We can do some pretty dumb things and still find a way to win a ballgame because of the competitive nature of our kids."

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