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Big Inning Lifts Texas Tech Over Mississippi State, 14-7, at NCAA Atlanta Regional

June 5, 2004

ATLANTA – No. 2 seed Texas Tech (40-20) scored eight runs in the eighth inning to post a come-from-behind victory against No. 3 seed Mississippi State (35-24), 14-7, at the Atlanta Regional on Saturday night in Russ Chandler Stadium. TTU’s Cody Fuller drove in the game-winning runs for the Red Raiders in the eighth inning, finishing the game 3-for-4, with three runs batted in.

The Red Raiders’ Michael Mask and Josh Haney finished 4-for-6, each with a home run. Haney drove in four runs on the night, while Mask drove in two. Right-handed pitcher Corey Gerstner (8-1) picked up the win for Tech in relief, throwing the final five innings, allowing four hits, two earned runs and struck out two.

Craig Tatum led the offensive attack for the Bulldogs, going 2-for-4, with a home run and three runs batted in. Saunders Ramsey (7-2) picked up the loss for MSU on the hill, surrendering three hits and six earned runs without recording an out.

Top-seeded Georgia Tech (2-0) and second-seeded Texas Tech (2-1) will play for the regional title at 1 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. The Red Raiders will have to defeat the Yellow Jackets twice to advance to the NCAA Super Regional next weekend.

The Bulldogs struck first in the bottom of the first inning as Tatum singled through the left side with two outs to plate Jeffrey Rea who singled to start the inning. Joseph Hunter continued the rally for MSU with a RBI single to right field to score Steve Gendron who reached base on a single to left-center field. Brian LaNinfa drove in the third run of the inning with two outs with a base hit to left-center field to plate Tatum as the Bulldogs led 3-0.

Cameron Blair led off the third inning for Tech with a walk and Mask followed with a base hit to put runners on first and second with no outs. Josh Haney then smacked his 11th home run of the season to tie the game at 3-3.

Tatum delivered again for the Bulldogs with a two-run home run, his 13th of the season, to right field as MSU regained the lead, 5-3.

The Red Raiders’ Cory Gerstner entered the game on the mound in the bottom of the fourth inning. Steve Gooch threw three innings, scattering six hits, five runs, four earned runs and fanned three.

TTU’s Fuller drove in the fourth run of the game for the Red Raiders in the seventh inning with two outs, scoring Haney who reached on a throwing error by the MSU catcher after a strikeout as the deficit was cut to one, 5-4.

Brad Jones tagged his ninth home run of the season in the bottom of the seventh inning with a runner on first base to give the Bulldogs a three-run cushion, 7-4.

Ramsey came into the game in the top of the eighth inning to try close out the game for the Bulldogs on the mound. After the first three batters of the inning reached base safely, the Red Raiders scored three runs on three straight hits by Blair, Mask and Haney to plate Josh Brady, Delgado and Blair to tie the game at 7-7. Dallas Braden was then hit-by-a-pitch and Ramsey was removed from the game in favor of Jamie Gant. Fuller made it four straight hits for Tech with a bloop single to left field to score Mask and Haney as the Red Raiders took their first lead of the game, 9-7.

Braden then scored on a wild pitch to push the lead to three, 10-7. The Bulldogs recorded the first out of the inning on a foul out to third base. Brady came to the dish for the second time in the inning and lined one back through the box to drive in two more runs for the Red Raiders as Tech led 12-7. Gant registered to straight outs to end the inning as the Red Raiders led by five.

Mask connected on his 15th home run of the season to lead off the ninth inning for the Red Raiders to advance Tech’s lead to 13-7. The Red Raiders’ pushed another run across on an error by the Bulldog second baseman to close out the scoring in the game and preserve a 14-7 win.

Line Score                       R-H-E--------------------------------------TT      0-0-3-0-0-0-1-8-2     14-17-1MS      3-0-2-0-0-0-2-0-0      7-10-3--------------------------------------

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