In what seems to be the mantra of the 2012 Mississippi State Diamond Dawgs, they come from behind for the seventh time this season to pick up the 10-6 victory over the Penn State Nittany Lions.
While Mississippi State (12-2) enjoys its 12th win of the season, it may have come at a significant price with both C.T. Bradford and Daryl Norris succumbing to injury on Wednesday night.
In the fifth inning, Bradford drove a ball into right field and while attempting to stretch it into a double, he was thrown out and jammed his shoulder into the bag causing him to leave the game.
In the seventh with the bases loaded and the Bulldogs threatening, Norris fouls a ball off to the right side and goes down with what appeared to be a significant knee injury.
“Those are two guys who are really playing at the height of their ability right now and two guys who are giving us a whole lot,” said MSU head coach John Cohen. “It is a very expensive win and it is disappointing that those kinds of things happen but you can’t control them and when kids are playing hard, those kinds of things happen.” Adam Frazier, who went 2-for-4 with three RBI, also understands the significance of having Bradford and Norris in the lineup.
“Hopefully, they can get back because to continue doing what we are doing we are going to need them,” Frazier said.
As for the game, Cohen drew pleasure from knowing his team continued to battle despite being without a couple of their top performers.
“I’m really pleased that our kids rallied around the fact that we lost two of our best players,” Cohen said. “They just said we’re not going to lose this game. The way we competed was pretty pleasing to me.”
State trailed 6-3 entering the home half of the seventh inning when the Bulldogs plated three runs to tie the game, and with the bases loaded, Mitch Slauter popped a ball up in foul territory with the Penn State (2-9) catcher and first baseman making a play for the ball, leaving home plate unaccounted for and allowing Brayden Jones to tag up and score the go ahead run from third.
“Those are things we work on all of the time and when the situation presents itself, you have to take advantage of it,” said Cohen. “It is a hustle play. Brayden Jones did a great job with that.”
The Bulldogs went on to add three insurance runs in the eighth, giving State the 10-6 lead with Caleb Reed entering the game to close the door on the Nittany Lions.
State scored 10 runs on 13 hits for the night while Penn State scored six runs on nine hits.
On the mound, Mississippi State sent four freshmen into the action with Will Cox earning the start and went four innings allowing four runs on five hits.
Jacob Lindgren picked up his first career win after entering in the seventh inning and gave his team 1.1 innings of work and didn’t allow a hit to the four batters he faced.
The Diamond Dawgs are back on the diamond Friday night with a first pitch slated for 6:30 p.m. against the Mercer University Bears.