Bulldogs pick up big win over South Carolina

Published 12:10 am Sunday, April 24, 2011

In need of a win, Mississippi State got it with a big hit and a big arm.

Ryan Collins singled in a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, Caleb Reed pitched 2 2/3 innings of shutout ball, and the Bulldogs beat second-ranked South Carolina 5-3 on Saturday.

The win vaulted Mississippi State (24-15, 7-10 Southeastern Confrence) into the SEC West race. After a topsy turvy Saturday in which most of the frontrunners lost, the Bulldogs are now two games behind Auburn and Ole Miss for first place, and just a game behind Alabama and Arkansas for second.

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Collins’ only hit of the game came at a perfect time for Mississippi State. South Carolina (30-8, 13-4) took a 3-2 lead into the sixth inning, but a base hit by Trey Johnson and an error set up Collins, who singled up the middle to bring in two runs.

“We finally got some breaks to go our way,” Collins said. “We have playing some good ball, but we just haven’t gotten many breaks.”

Mississippi State coach John Cohen then turned the game over to his closer Reed with one out and one on in the seventh. Reed walked a batter and uncorked a wild pitch, but escaped the jam with a pair of strikeouts.

Reed retired the side in order in the eighth and put two runners on in the ninth before working his way out of trouble again to earn his seventh save of the season.

Luis Pollorena picked up the win with three innings of solid relief. He allowed one unearned run and struck out three. Reed walked two, struck out four and gave up one hit.

“I was just trying to make quality pitches,” Reed said. “I have to credit my defense behind me. They did a great job tonight.”