Close Calls Have Been a Bulldog Signature of Late


Most State fans have been short of breath, grabbing their chest and hitting the ground with both knees in the 9th innings of each of the past four games. Each one has taken us on a roller coaster ride that has ended in joy, but was terrifying while it lasted.

Game 2 vs. Virginia – Having to resume the suspended second game of the Regional on that Monday afternoon, the Dawgs had a 6-3 lead going into the 9th inning with Johnathan Holder on the mound. But things got hairy. A hit, a wild pitch, a routine groundball to 3rd base that was beat out, an error on Holder covering first. All of the sudden it was 6-5 with 2 out and runners on 2nd & 3rd. What looked like a sure thing turned into a sick feeling in everyone’s stomach. Luckily Detz was able to corral the next one hit his way and get it to Wes Rea a little quicker to get the final out and seal the win, and trip to Omaha.

Game 1 of CWS vs. Oregon State – MSU is up 5-4 with Holder on the mound again. A single and a walk mixed in among strikeouts gave the Beavers a chance to tie it with the tying run in scoring position, and winning run on 1st base. Danny Hayes lifted a hanging breaking ball to deep right – well, you know what happened. The gasp among maroon faithful could be heard far and wide. But Hunter Renfroe was able to make the grab to end the game and move State into the winner’s bracket.

Game 2 of CWS vs. Indiana – State went into the 9th up 5-3 in this one, and Chad Girodo remained on the mound despite approaching 100 pitches. He gave up a single, then had a ball hit hard that died in CF for a fly out, then Sam Travis belted one that was two feet from tying the game but ended up being a double – 2nd & 3rd with one out. Cohen decided to leave Girodo in to face the lefty, and Chad got him to softly ground out to 2nd base, scoring a run but more importantly get the second out. Holder came in to close it out. He threw two curve balls – the second was softly hit back to him, he fields and throws it horribly, into the ground but it was so bad it was good as it bounced right into the big paws of Wes Rea at first. Game over, Bulldogs win 5-4.

Game 3 of CWS vs. Oregon State – The Dawgs were up pretty comfortably, 4-1. Ross Mitchell looked to be the guy to close it out but he got into a mess. After getting the first out he allowed two singles which brought the tying run to the plate. The drama wasn’t quite as bad here, as Holder came in and easily got his fourth save in as many games, and 21st on the year – Pirtle flip to Frazier on the final play.

If these games gave you heartburn, you might want to double up on the tums this week. UCLA has a knack for playing close games. They have an excellent pitching staff and we are likely to get into some nail-biters rather than have games that are busted open. It’s going to be a fight to the finish. We are sooooo close. This it is. Let’s do this Dawgs!!