OMAHA, Neb. – Indiana’s perfection ended Monday night as right-handed pinch hitter Trey Porter stroked a two-run single to right field to complete Mississippi State’s 5-4 comeback victory over the Hoosiers at the College World Series before 25,260 fans at TD Ameritrade Park.
The loss marks the Hoosiers’ first of the NCAA tournament against six wins. Indiana finds itself in the losers’ bracket for the first time, including the Big Ten tournament.
In the eighth Will Nolden could not repeat his outfield assist against Louisville. Demarcus Henderson drove home the game-tying run as he went the opposite way with a single.
Brett Pirtle scored on a close play because he had to wait to see whether Nolden would make the catch.
The next hitter, Nick Ammirati, hit a grounder to first baseman Sam Travis, who bobbled the ball as he sought to retire Henderson at second base. Travis had sufficient time to pick up the ball and retire Ammirati.
Porter stroked a two-run single to the gap in right-center field against junior left-hander Brian Korte, to give Mississippi State a 5-3 advantage.
The Bulldogs improved to 44-0 when leading after eight innings.
Sophomore relief pitcher Jonathon Holder entered before senior Michael Basil took his at-bat in the ninth. He induced a grounder back to the mound and tossed to first to record his 28th career save. He is one shy of equaling the school’s career record.
A pair of base running blunders the Bulldogs committed in the first inning against South Side grad Will Coursen-Carr, the Hoosiers’ starting pitcher, became irrelevant after Mississippi State’s three-run eighth inning.
Indiana tied the game in the second against Mississippi State starting pitcher Trevor Fitts. Junior Casey Smith’s RBI single up the middle scored Basil, who got into scoring position on Fitts’ wild pitch.
Smith has one RBI in five different NCAA tournament games.
The Hoosiers broke through against reliever Chad Girido in the third. The left-hander entered the game with a 1.38 ERA. He had given up 11 runs – seven earned. Sophomores Will Nolden and Kyle Schwarber singled. Nolden took advantage of left fielder Demarcus Henderson’s lethargic approach to the ball and reached third without a throw.
Travis delivered an opposite field RBI double under the dive of second baseman Pirtle. Nolden scored and Schwarber advanced to third. Indiana’s Schwarber scored as sophomore Scott Donley picked up his conference-leading 62nd RBI on a groundout to second.
Girodo gave up just five hits the rest of the way. Donley accounted for two of them, plus an RBI groundout that cut the Hoosiers’ deficit to 5-4.Girodo’s outing was over.
The Hartselle, Ala., product struck out 10, including Schwarber twice.
Holder retired Basil and stranded two Hoosiers in scoring position.