OMAHA, Neb. | Recapping No. 14 MSU’s 5-4 win over No. 8 Indiana in the second round of the College World Series on Monday.
• The buzz: MSU (50-18) did it again, scoring three times in the eighth inning to earn its second ever 2-0 CWS start, the first coming in 1985. This is also the Bulldogs’ first 50-win season since 1990. MSU came back for the second straight game – it scored twice in the eighth to beat Oregon State 5-4 on Saturday. Reliever Chad Girodo had another strong relief outing.
• Big inning: MSU trailed 3-2 entering the eighth, and the rally got going with back-to-back singles by Brett Pirtle and Wes Rea to put runners on the corners. After a strikeout, Demarcus Henderson tried an 0-1 bunt but fouled it off, then eventually singled to right field to tie the game. Indiana made a pitching change, bringing in lefty Brian Korte to face Trey Porter, who’s also a lefty. Porter, who’d entered as DH in the sixth, laced a two-run single to right-center field for a 5-3 lead.
• Key stats: Indiana made two errors, MSU made one. … MSU was 4 of 13 with runners in scoring position, while IU was 2 of 11.
• MSU at the plate: The Bulldogs had 11 hits. … Pirtle had three hits and scored twice. … Rea and Henderson had two hits apiece. Rea’s RBI single in the sixth cut Indiana’s lead to 3-2. … MSU left 10 men on base.
• Indiana at the plate: The Hoosiers (49-15) had nine hits. … Sam Travis and Scott Donley had two hits each, and Donley had two RBIs. … Indiana left 10 on base.
• MSU on the mound: Starter Trevor Fitts went 2 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on two hits with four strikeouts and a walk. … Girodo (9-1) had another stellar outing, going 6 1/3 innings with 10 strikeouts and a walk. He allowed two runs on seven hits. Over his last three appearances, Girodo has 32 strikeouts over 17 2/3 innings. … Jonathan Holder came in to get the last out after Indiana cut it to 5-4. He induced a soft comebacker by Michael Basil, and Rea had to scoop Holder’s throw to first. It was Holder’s 20th save, giving him 29 for his career to tie the school record.
• Indiana on the mound: Freshman lefty Will Coursen-Carr was solid, allowing two runs on four hits with four strikeouts and two walks in 5 1/3 innings. … IU then went to its closer, Ryan Halstead (4-5). He gave up three runs on four hits in 2 1/3 innings. … Korte and Scott Effross each worked two-thirds of an inning.
• Bottom line: The Bulldogs are doing all the right things at the right times, and now they’re off until Friday. Indiana will play Oregon State in an elimination game Wednesday, and the winner there will face MSU on Friday at 2 p.m. If State wins Friday, it will advance to the championship series for the first time.