Tatum's Walk-Off RBI Single Lifts No. 10 Mississippi
Past Vanderbilt, 5-4, in 13 Innings
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Craig Tatum's walk-off single with
two out and the bases-loaded in the bottom of the 13th
scored Matthew Maniscalco as No. 10 Mississippi State
edged Vanderbilt, 5-4, Friday, March 14 at Dudy Noble
Field in the Southeastern Conference opener.
The Commodores (10-7, 0-1 SEC) grabbed three different
leads in the game, but the Bulldogs (12-1-1) answered
each time before winning the game in the 13th. MSU's
Jonathan Papelbon (4-0) registered the win while Commodore
reliever Jensen Lewis (1-3) took the loss. Commodore
pitchers struck out a season-high 17 batters.
Vanderbilt took leads into the bottom of the ninth
and the bottom of the 12th. Commodore designated hitter
Jeff Boutwell singled in Warner Jones to give Vanderbilt
a 3-2 advantage. But MSU answered in its half of the
inning when Matthew Brinson hit a bases-loaded sacrifice
fly to deep right-center field scored Jeff Butts. The
Commodores took a 4-3 lead in the 12th when Worth Scott
led off the inning with a home run to right field. It
was Scott's second long ball of the season. Again the
Bulldogs answered in their frame when Brent Lewis' single
through the right side of the infield scored Brad Jones.
Both starting pitchers threw masterful games. Vanderbilt
left-hander Jeremy Sowers struck out 11 Bulldogs, pitched
out of several jams and ended the day by allowing eight
hits, two walks and two earned runs in seven innings.
MSU's Paul Maholm pitched a career-high 10 innings and
retired 15 in a row and 23 of 24 before Vanderbilt took
the lead in the ninth. Maholm allowed only four hits,
three runs (all earned) and two walks while striking
Vanderbilt took an early 2-0 lead in the first inning
on back-to-back fielder choice RBI by Cesar Nicolas
and Boutwell. Warner Jones led off the game with a single
down the first-base line. Rucker Taylor then walked
and Ryan Klosterman was hit by a pitch to load the bases.
That set the stage for Nicolas and Boutwell.
Mississippi State tied the score at 2-2 in the bottom
of the fourth on Joseph Hunter's two-run home run over
the wall in left-center field. It was Hunter's second
home run of the year. It also marked only the third
long ball given up by a Commodore pitcher this season.
Game two of the three-game series continues Saturday
at 2 p.m. The two teams also play Sunday at 1:30 p.m.