Pigott pitches MSU to college world series

Published 12:30 am Sunday, June 10, 2007

A day after his home run lifted Mississippi State to one victory, Mitch Moreland’s save in an 8-5 win Saturday over Clemson sent the Bulldogs to the College World Series for the first time since 1998.

Moreland combined with closer Aaron Weatherford on four strikeouts and 2 1-3 innings of scoreless relief to ensure the win.

The team piled on Moreland near the pitcher’s mound and hundreds of the super regional record-13,715 fans swarmed the infield.

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It was an improbable run to Omaha, Neb., for Mississippi State (38-20), which had lost eight of 10 games heading into NCAA postseason play. But the Bulldogs are 5-0 since after twice beating national seed Florida State in Tallahassee, Fla., before coming from behind in both games against Clemson (41-23).

Jet Butler spurred a game-turning four-run second inning with a two-RBI double. The bottom four batters in Mississippi State’s lineup scored in the inning, which turned a 2-1 deficit into a 5-2 lead the Bulldogs would not relinquish. Russ Sneed added another run-scoring double.

Picayune’s Justin Pigott (7-6) earned the win after allowing nine hits over six innings. He gave up five runs, four earned and struck out three.

David Kopp (6-3) took the loss. He left in the second inning after giving up five hits and five runs, three earned.