April 19, 2009
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State senior first baseman Connor Powers took out his frustration on one pitch Saturday afternoon.
Powers hit a walkoff solo home run in the 10th inning to help the Mississippi State Bulldogs beat the Kentucky Wildcats 4-3 at Dudy Noble Field. A season-high crowd of 10,210, the 22nd largest in MSU history and third largest in the Southeastern Conference this year, looked on during Super Bulldog Weekend.
After losing 5-4 in 11 innings on Friday, MSU (20-19, 6-11 Southeastern Conference) was able to even its series with Kentucky at 1-1.
"It''s just a matter of time before we start winning close games," Powers said. "It''s been tough that we can''t punch the ticket sometimes. It felt good (Saturday)."
The Wildcats took a 1-0 lead in the third inning, but the Bulldogs responded for a pair of runs in the fourth.
After Kentucky regained the advantage with one run in the fifth and another in the seventh, MSU tied the game again at 3-3 with a run in the seventh.
The game remained that way until the 10th when Powers blasted his 12th homer of the season to right as a light shower was beginning to fall. It was the third game-ended home run for the Bulldogs this season.
Powers, who extended his hitting streak to 10 games, kidded after the game saying he was just trying to get the game over so fans could get over to the Maroon-White Spring Football game.
On a more serious note, he was glad to get the key hit to provide a victory.
"I was just looking for something hard and straight and I got it and it went out," Powers said.
Brett Brownlee was the only Bulldog with multiple hits with two singles. Grant Hogue had the only other extra base hit with a double to add to Powers'' homer.
MSU had a nine-hit attack to support the pitching of Nick Routt, Chad Crosswhite and Jared Wesson. Wesson (2-0) worked 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief to get the win.
"They''ve done a great job the last two days," Powers said of the pitching. "Our offense just hasn''t been scoring the runs it should be."
The Bulldogs and Wildcats conclude the series at 1:30 p.m. today.
1. Heritage Academy's Kerby at home in shot put circle HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS