FRISCO, Tx. — One swing of the bat can change everything.
For Mississippi State, that swing turned what looked like a disastrous end to the Frisco College Baseball Classic into a silver lining for the remainder of non-conference play.
Amani Larry stepped up to the plate in the top of the seventh against Cal relief pitcher Daniel Colwell, looking to give the Bulldogs the lead.
He did just that, smoking a solo homer to left field to give the Bulldogs a 5-4 lead, one they would add on to for an 8-4 win on Sunday afternoon.
The Golden Bears (7-3) capitalized on the long ball early as Kade Kretzschmar and Rodney Green Jr. hit solo shots in the second and third innings, respectively, to keep the Mississippi State (7-5) lead at one run.
Cal tied things up after an RBI groundout from Dom Souto in what turned into a two-run third.
After scoring in the first three innings, the Bulldogs’ offense was held scoreless through the middle innings as Colwell hadn’t allowed a hit for the first 3.1 innings of his outing.
However, the Larry homer with one out in the seventh spelled the end of his outing and the start of Mississippi State’s late-inning surge.
In the eighth, Kellum Clark put the game to bed with a two-run shot to center, giving the Bulldogs a three-run cushion to work with.
That was plenty for Nate Dohm, who came in relief of Landon Gartman, tossing five scoreless innings to end the game, giving up one hit and striking out six. Dohm earned his second win of the year, needing just 67 pitches to finish the game off for Mississippi State.
Gartman struggled on the mound in the win, giving up four earned in four innings, needing 95 pitches to get through his outing.
The Mississippi State offense came to play, much like Saturday, scoring eight runs on 10 hits, led by Larry, who went 3 for 4 with two runs scored and the solo homer in the seventh.
He and Bryce Chance both recorded three-hit games in the win as Luke Hancock and Clark drove in two RBIs each for the Bulldogs.
Larry and Clark were the only two players to score multiple runs, each scoring two for MSU.
While Gartman’s day was rough, all told, Mississippi State allowed just four hits to Cal’s offense, one that came in scoring 6.7 runs a game and recording more than eight hits a game.
For as rough as the weekend started for the Bulldogs, Sunday set the tone for what looks like a favorable week back at Dudy Noble Field, starting 6 p.m. Tuesday against Valparaiso.
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