Jones' 10th-inning single lifts Bulldogs past Kent
DIVING CATCH n Mississippi State's Casey Long makes a diving catch against Kent State in the Bulldogs' win Friday afternoon. AP photo
May 25, 2001
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) Enrico Jones singled in Matthew Brinson from second base for the winning run in the 10th inning as top-seeded Mississippi State edged Kent State 9-8 Friday in the opening game of the NCAA regional at Bill Davis Stadium.
The Bulldogs (37-22), winners of the SEC tournament last week, advance to meet the winner of the nightcap between Delaware and Ohio State today at 2:30 p.m.
The teams traded the lead in the last two innings. Kent State (30-29), champion of the Mid-American Conference tournament, trailed 7-6 heading into the ninth but tied in on Eric O'Brien's first-pitch home run off Josh Wooten. Chris Welsch then singled and scored on Dave Mattle's single.
Mississippi State came back to tie it with an unearned run in the bottom half. With one out, Michael Brown who had hit the home run that gave the Bulldogs their 7-6 lead hit a hot grounder that replacement first baseman Tom Martin fumbled for an error. Brown came around to score on a sacrifice fly by Josh West.
In the 10th, Brinson led off with a walk against Kent State relief ace John VanBenschoten (2-2). He moved up on a sacrifice bunt by Steve Gendron. After an intentional walk to Matthew Maniscalco, Jones pinch hit and laced a hard single to left with Brinson sliding in to beat the throw from O'Brien.
The game was suspended for 30 minutes after the fourth inning by heavy rains.
Brandon Medders (6-3) picked up the win, setting down five of the six batters he faced including four on strikeouts.
Gendron was the only Bulldog with two hits. Casey Long hit a three-run homer in the second.
Pat O'Brien and Brady Glass each hit two-run homers for the Kent State, which comes back to face the loser of the second game. VanBenschoten, who led the nation in homers with 30, had two hits and drove in a run.