Katz Homers Twice in 6-4 Comeback Win at State
Communications Sr. Associate
STARKVILLE, Miss. - LSU first baseman Mason Katz launched a pair of two-run homers, including the go-ahead blast in the 10th inning, to lift second-ranked LSU to a 6-4 win over No. 8 Mississippi State Friday night at Dudy Noble Field.
The teams meet in Game 2 of the SEC series at 6 p.m. Saturday in a game that will be televised by Cox Sports Television and Comcast Sports Southeast. The game can also be heard on affiliates of the LSU Sports Radio Network, and it can be viewed at www.ESPN3.com.
LSU improved to 17-1 overall and 1-0 in the SEC with the victory in its first extra-inning game of the season. Mississippi State fell to 18-3 overall and 0-1 in conference play.
"Wow, this was just the first one, and we've only got 29 more SEC games to go," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "It was a typical LSU-Mississippi State game, highly competitive and not decided until the very end. I'm proud of our players for earning a tough victory. We kind of weathered the early storm and then worked our way back into the game.
"Mason's performance is something we've come to expect from one of our senior leaders, and I thought our bullpen did an excellent job to give us the chance to win. The important thing is for us to realize that this is just one game; we've got to be ready to play tomorrow."
With the score tied 4-4 in the top of the 10th, LSU leftfielder Raph Rhymes led off with a walk against MSU reliever Will Cox before Katz unloaded a Cox pitch over the left-field wall for his second dinger of the game and his eighth of the season.
LSU reliever Chris Cotton pitched a perfect 10th inning to earn his sixth save of the year. Joey Bourgeois (2-0) earned the win as he fired 1.1 shutout innings with no hits, no walks and two strikeouts.
Bourgeois entered the game in the bottom of the eighth with two outs and the bases loaded, and he struck out Mississippi State slugger Hunter Renfroe to end the threat and keep the scored deadlocked at 4-4.
Cox (2-1) was charged with the loss as he started the 10th and surrendered the game-deciding home run to Katz.
Renfroe launched a two-run homer in the bottom of the first against LSU starter Aaron Nola to give the Bulldogs a 2-0 lead.
LSU third baseman Christian Ibarra delivered an RBI single in the top of fourth to narrow the gap to 2-1, but the Bulldogs extended the lead to 4-1 in the fifth with four singles, including RBI hits by Renfroe and by first baseman Alex Detz.
A two-run homer in the top of the sixth by Katz off of MSU starter Jacob Lindgren reduced the LSU deficit to 4-3.
The Tigers tied the game in the seventh when catcher Ty Ross scored from third on a wild pitch by MSU reliever Chad Girodo.
Nola worked 5.2 innings for LSU, allowing four runs on nine hits with one walk and four strikeouts. Reliever Brent Bonvillain fired two scoreless innings in relief of Nola, as he, Bourgeois and Cotton combined to limit the Bulldogs to no runs on just one hit over the final 4.1 innings.
The Tigers also turned a season-high four double plays to limit the Bulldogs' scoring threats.
Lindgren worked the first 5.2 innings for the Bulldogs, allowing three runs on five hits with no walks and seven strikeouts.
LSU 6, Mississippi State 4 (Mar 15, 2013 at Starkville, Miss.)
LSU...................... 000 102 100 2 - 6 7 1 (17-1, 1-0 SEC)
Mississippi State... 200 020 000 0 - 4 10 2 (18-3, 0-1 SEC)
Pitchers: LSU - Aaron Nola; Brent Bonvillain(6); Joey Bourgeois(8); Chris Cotton(10) and Ty Ross.
Mississippi State - Jacob Lindgren; Myles Gentry(6); Chad Girodo(7); Ben Bracewell(7); Will Cox(10) and Mitch Slauter; Nick Ammirati.
Win-Joey Bourgeois(2-0) Save-Chris Cotton(6) Loss-Will Cox(2-1) T-3:31 A-8068
HR LSU - Mason Katz 2 (8).
HR MSTATE - Hunter Renfroe (6).
Gentry faced 2 batters in the 7th.