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MSU baseball defeats Southern Miss

 

By David Brandt, The Associated Press

 

PEARL -- Using Trustmark Park''s big dimensions to his advantage, Luis Pollorena threw 5 2/3 innings of scoreless relief to help the Mississippi State baseball team rally to beat No. 14 Southern Miss 5-4 on Tuesday night. 

 

Pollorena (3-0) entered the game in the second inning with the Bulldogs trailing 4-2, but from that point flustered the Golden Eagles. The left-hander retired 14 in a row at one point, striking out six. He needed only 64 pitches (46 strikes) to get the job done. 

 

The 5-foot-6 sophomore said he let Trustmark Park''s spacious outfield work for him. 

 

"During batting practice none of the balls were flying out, so I said ''You know what, big ballpark, why not?'' New bats. Let the defense work and just throw strikes and make them swing." 

 

MSU (20-9) built a 2-0 lead in the first inning, but Southern Miss stormed back with a four-run second to take the lead. The Bulldogs used three pitchers to get through the inning, finally finding the right one in Pollorena. 

 

"Luis is one of our best athletes," MSU coach John Cohen said. "He came in and pumped it in the strike zone. In the second inning, they should get one run but they wind up getting four because we hit a guy and walked a guy. 

 

"Luis was able to come in and fill the strike zone with strikes. He is an unbelievable competitor and the rest of the team really responds to him." 

 

MSU added a run in the sixth on a sacrifice fly by Adam Frazier to pull within 4-3. The Bulldogs took the lead for good in the seventh, pushing two runs across on Cody Freeman''s walk with the bases loaded and C.T. Bradford''s run-scoring fielder''s choice. 

 

Bradford was 3-for-5 with two RBIs. Caleb Reed threw 1 2/3 innings for his fourth save. The Bulldogs ended a three-game losing streak and a five-game losing streak at Trustmark Park dating to 2008. 

 

"(Pollorena) was outstanding," Cohen said. "We haven''t extended him like that all season, but he did exactly what we needed. He came in there and shoved it in the strike zone." 

 

Jarrod Parks, a senior third baseman, added two hits and has hit safely in 23 of 29 games this season. 

 

Southern Miss (22-6) saw its five-game winning streak snapped. The Golden Eagles made four errors and managed just six hits -- only two after the second inning. 

 

Southern Miss starter Boomer Scarborough threw six innings, giving up three runs, but only one was earned. Josh Rogers (1-1) took the loss, giving up two earned runs without recording an out. 

 

The Golden Eagles briefly threatened in the ninth when Marc Bourgeois singled to start the inning. Issac Rodriguez moved Bourgeois to second base on a sacrifice bunt, but Reed coaxed two flyouts from Adam Doleac and Mark Ellis to end the game. 

 

"You''ve got to hand it to (Pollorena) -- he silenced a club that''s been swinging the bat really well," Southern Miss coach Scott Berry said. 

 

MSU will return to Dudy Noble Field for a Southeastern Conference series against No. 4 Florida this weekend. The teams will take part in Super Bulldog Weekend with game times at 6:30 p.m. Friday, noon Saturday, and noon Sunday. 

 

 

 

 

 

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