Virginia tops Mississippi State 5-4 on walk-off

Charlottesville, VA (WCBI)- Virginia topped Mississippi State 5-4 and Bobby Whalen was the hero for the Cavaliers as his fielder’s choice walk-off  punched their ticket to the winner’s bracket.

Virginia third baseman Eric Becker carried the Cavaliers with four RBIs. Virginia struck first in the second when Becker hit an RBI triple to give them a 2-0 lead. Mississippi State answered in the next frame with a Hunter Hines three-run homer to take the lead.

The theme of the Charlottesville Regional so far has been MSU’s star players breaking out of slumps. Dakota Jordan did so with a walk-off homer in Friday’s thrilling 5-2 victory over St. John’s and Hines did Saturday. Coming into the game he was two for his last 37.

Heading into the winner’s bracket of the Charlottesville Regional, the headline was the elite pitching matchup. Virginia started Evan Blanco, who had a 3.50 ERA entering the game and hadn’t allowed more than one earned run in his last 23 innings. While Mississippi State trotted out ambidextrous phenom Jurrangelo Cijntje (3.55 ERA). Both guys gave up four runs and gave their teams a chance but Virginia ended up on top.

Mississippi State’s back is to the wall and will face St. John’s on Sunday at 11 a.m. CT in an elimination game. If the Bulldogs win, they will play Virginia Sunday at 6 and would have to beat the Cavaliers twice (second game Monday) to escape the regional.

Photo courtesy: Mississippi State Athletics

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