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2011 NCAA Baseball, Atlanta Regional: Georgia Tech Loses Game And Staff Ace Mark Pope To Injury

No. 3 Mississippi State defeated No. 2 Southern Miss 3-0

The Mississippi State Bulldogs, led by strong pitching performances by Luis Pollorena and Caleb Reed, earned their way into the winner's bracket with an impressive 3-0 shutout of Southern Miss. The two pitchers scattered eight hits and gave up four walks but didn't allow any Golden Eagles to cross the plate.

Junior left fielder Brent Brownlee entered as a defensive replacement in the fourth inning, and came up with the big hit of the afternoon in his first at-bat. With two runners in scoring position, Brownlee laced a single up the middle to give the Bulldogs their 3-0 lead.

No. 4 Austin Peay defeated No. 1 Georgia Tech 2-1

The Governors and Yellow Jackets battled all night with great pitching and brilliant defense, but Austin Peay managed to take advantage of their opportunities better than Tech and pulled off the upset, winning 2-1.

The Georgia Tech fans received a bit of surprise in the second inning when pitching coach Tom Kinkelaar went to the mound to check on Mark Pope, the staff ace, before pulling him due to injury. According to Doug Roberson of the AJC, Pope hurt his back Thursday in practice. Matthew Grimes came up big in relief, throwing 6.2 innings while giving up just 3 hits and 2 runs. The normal midweek starter struck out eight while only walking one hitter. 

Georgia Tech had plenty of chances, stranding runners in scoring position seemingly every inning.

Mississippi State Austin Peay advance to the winner's bracket and will play Saturday night at 7 p.m. Southern Miss and Georgia Tech play Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m.

For NCAA baseball tournament, scores, bracket updates and schedules from every region, click here. For more Georgia Tech sports, join From The Rumble Seat. For more Mississippi State sports, join For Whom The Cowbell Tolls.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.