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Mississippi State Athletics | March 11, 2015

Miss. State's Holland walks off in the 10th for win

  Holland entered the game as a pinch hitter and went 1-for-2 including the game winner in the 10th.

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- John Holland’s RBI single in the home half of the 10th inning lifted No. 15 Mississippi State to a 6-5 win against Western Kentucky in a Tuesday afternoon game played at Dudy Noble Field.

The Bulldogs scored in the ninth inning and then won the contest in the 10th inning, which was the first extra-inning game of the season. MSU won in walk-off fashion for the first time since a 6-5 win against Ole Miss on April 12, 2014.

Senior lefthander Lucas Laster turned in another quality start for the Bulldogs. Laster allowed four hits and three runs (two earned), with five strikeouts and a walk. Daniel Brown followed and ran into trouble in the ninth inning when the Hilltoppers struck with back-to-back home runs for a 5-4 lead.

MSU (15-3) built a 4-0 lead in the fourth inning.

Things got started when Wes Rea drew a leadoff walk. Reid Humphreys followed with a two-run home run, the Bulldogs’ first round-tripper against Marshall since February 21.

Matt Spruill kept things going with a base hit. Josh Lovelady reached as a hit batsman. Ryan Gridley and Brent Rooker followed with back-to-back RBI singles.

WKU (6-8) answered with two runs in the fifth inning. Danny Hudzina hit the first of his two home runs in that at-bat. Paul Murray also had an RBI double. After that hit, Laster retired eight of the final nine he faced.

MSU then held the lead through a difficult eighth inning when WKU scored once but got back-to-back strikeouts by Brown to snuff that threat. Brown was then touched for home runs by Hudzina and Kaleb Duckworth.

A leadoff single by Seth Heck started things in the ninth inning. A walk and two wild pitches helped get the game-tying run home. Holland drove pinch runner Michael Smith home with the game winner an inning later.

MSU finished with 13 hits. Ryan Gridley, Heck and Lovelady had multiple hits. Trevor Fitts (1-1) got the final out in the 10th inning to pick up the win.

WKU finished with nine hits. Hudzina, Murray and Leiff Clarkson each had multiple hits. Breannan Pearson (0-3) took the loss in relief.

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