Posted: June 3, 2007 in Family and Friends

And now to sports…

It’s that time of year when college baseball players (and fans) dream of going to (of all places) Omaha, Nebraska, home of Rosenblatt Stadium and the College Baseball World Series.

My friend, Cole, got the chance to go watch last year, and he said it was an amazing experience. This year, Cole and (his wife) Alison are dreaming of having a personal connection in Omaha, and if Alison’s brother (pitcher, Justin Pigott, pictured above), keeps pitching like he did yesterday, then the sky’s the limit!

I had the pleasure of meeting Justin last year, and I’ll simply say that I’m a huge fan of his now and am rooting for he and the Bulldogs to go a long, long ways this postseason.

Here’s the press release from yesterday’s game:

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Justin Pigott and Aaron Weatherford combined for a three-hit shutout Saturday night as No. 27 Mississippi State topped No. 6 national seed Florida State 3-0 in the winner’s bracket game of the 2007 NCAA Tallahassee Regional. It was the first shutout of the season for the Bulldogs (35-20) and the first shutout and lowest hit total for the Seminoles (48-12).

The win advances Mississippi State to a 6 p.m. (CDT) Sunday championship round matchup against the winner of Sunday afternoon’s Florida State-Stetson game.

Pigott, who registered his eighth quality start of the year, scattered three hits, walked one and struck out three over seven innings. He left the game in the eighth inning with a 3-0 lead after FSU first baseman Brandon Reichert opened the inning with a double into the gap in left-center field. Weatherford entered the game and retired the next three batters to end the FSU threat. The sophomore righty walked Jack Rye to open the ninth but struck out the next three Seminole batters to close out the game and earn his fourth save.

“Tonight we got some great pitching by Justin and Aaron against a real good-hitting Florida State ball club,” said MSU head coach Ron Polk. “I think they were hitting .355 coming into the regional, so our pitchers had to pitch very well. They did and we made some plays behind them. I thought Bryan Henry was very effective after he gave up the two-spot in the third inning. We good a couple of good knocks… Russ (Sneed) got the home run and Jeffrey Rea got the double that set the record.”

Rea’s double, which set the MSU career hits mark at 329, helped the Bulldogs take a 2-0 lead in the third inning. The first four Bulldogs hit safely in the frame. Russ Sneed singled and advanced to third base when Jeffrey Rea doubled off the padded wall in right field. Brandon Turner brought Sneed home with a single through the left side and Edward Easley made it 2-0 with a single to right. The rally scoring spree was shortened when Mitch Moreland grounded into a double play and Brian LaNinfa, who drew a two-out walk, was tagged out on a double steal attempt just ahead of Turner’s race to home plate.

The game settled into a pitching duel between Pigott and Henry. FSU staged its biggest threat in the seventh, putting two runners on base with a single and a two-out fielding error. Pigott retired D’Vontrey Richardson on a groundout to keep FSU off the scoreboard.

“I felt a little all over the place the first three innings,” said Pigott. “But I settled down in the fourth and kind of got into a little bit of a rhythm. I’m thankful that some of those balls stayed in the ball park. That definitely helped. And our defense made some really good plays.”

Freshman Russ Sneed, making his fourth start at third base, delivered a towering home run to left to open the eighth, extending the MSU lead to 3-0. Sneed and Brandon Turner collected two hits each to pace MSU’s six-hit showing against the Seminoles.

Starter Bryan Henry (14-2) took the loss, giving up three runs on six hits with two walks and five strikeouts over eight innings, and Travis Burge pitched a scoreless ninth for FSU.

“I’m trying to remember if I’ve ever seen a game better pitched than I saw from Pigott and Weatherford,” said FSU head coach Mike Martin. “That was just beautiful baseball, and they deserved a tremendous amount of credit. That was excellent pitching.”

Florida State (48-12) takes on Stetson (42-20) at 12 p.m. Sunday, with the winner advancing to Sunday night’s 6 p.m. matchup with MSU.

  1. Al Sturgeon says:

    Got a message from Cole this morning that State won their regional last night & are advancing to the Super Regional Round of 32.

    And, even better, Justin was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Regional!!!

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