Diaz, Thompson Lead Vanderbilt To 4-3 Victory Over Mississippi State At Sec Tournament

HOOVER, Ala. (AP) — Davis Diaz gave Vanderbilt the lead for good with a two-run single in the third inning and JD Thompson pitched six strong innings to lead the eighth-seeded Commodores to a 4-3 victory over No. 5 seed Mississippi State at the Southeastern Conference Tournament on Thursday night.

Vanderbilt (38-20) advances to Saturday's semifinals. Mississippi State (38-20) will play top-seeded Tennessee on Friday for a berth in the semis. The championship game will be played on Sunday.

The Commodores never trailed after Braden Holcomb led off the third with a single up the middle. JD Rogers beat out a bunt and Jonathan Vastine was hit by a pitch to load the bases with one out. Diaz singled to left field on a 0-1 pitch.

Vanderbilt stretched its lead to 3-0 when Rogers walked, moved to third on a single by No. 9 hitter Calvin Hewett and scored on a wild pitch.

Connor Hujsak doubled and scored on a single by Amani Larry in the sixth to get the Bulldogs on the scoreboard, but Braden Holcomb walked to lead off the seventh and scored on a single by Hewitt to put the Commodores up 4-1.

Mississippi State made things interesting after two were out in the bottom of the ninth inning. David Merson singled and scored on a triple by Hujsak. Nate Chester pinch hit and drove in Hujsak with a single, but Ryan Ginther retired Logan Kohler on a ground out to wrap up the win with his fifth save of the season.

Thompson (5-1) allowed just one run on five hits and a walk, striking out eight to get the win. Ginther pitched the final 2 1/3 innings. He gave up two runs on three hits and a walk.

Jurrangelo Cijntje (8-2) took the loss for Mississippi State. He surrendered three runs on five hits and a walk, striking out 10.


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