Friday, May 31, 1985
Gene Morgan held an Oklahoma State team that was hitting .342 to eight hits as Mississippi State hammered the second-ranked Cowboys 12-3 in the opening round of the College World Series.
Morgan, a 5-foot-10, 165-pound senior from Columbus, Ga., improved his record to 14-1 with the victory. The Cowboys did not get an extra-base hit off Morgan, who came into the game with a 1.89 ERA.
Morgan struck out five and walked just three.
Mississippi State, last in team batting (.295) among the eight CWS qualifiers, pounded 14 hits off a half dozen Oklahoma State pitchers.
Two of the hits were homers, two-run blasts by John Mitchell and Rafael Palmeiro.
Palmeiro and Van Cleve each drove in three runs for the Bulldogs.
Mississippi State wasted little time in getting to Oklahoma State starter Gordie Dillard. Bobby Thigpen opened the second inning with a double and moved to third on a ground out.
Dillard walked Roark McDonald and John Scott followed with an infield grounder to score Thigpen. McDonald, breaking on the pitch, was safe at second, beating shortstop Randy Whisler's throw.
Dillard then walked Frank Davis and Van Cleve to force in the Bulldogs' second run, and Mississippi State made it 3-0 on Gator Thiesen's fielder's choice grounder.
Dillard didn't get an out in the third inning before leaving the game. Thigpen reached base on catcher's interference, and Mitchell followed with his 10th homer of the season to make it 5-0. McDonald walked, and Jeff Bronkey relieved.
McDonald moved to second on first baseman Jimmy Barragan's error, and took third on Scott's infield out. Davis then drove in Mississippi State's sixth run with a fielder's choice grounder.
The Bulldogs didn't let up. Will Clark, Mississippi State's All-America first baseman, doubled and scored on Thigpen's one-out single for a 7-0 lead.
Oklahoma State, shut out just once this season, finally got on the board in the sixth. Doug Dascenzo singled to open the inning, then stole his 64th base of the season. Dascenzo then came home on infield outs by Whisler and Mike Day. Morgan then ended the inning by striking out Incaviglia.
Incaviglia's strikeout sent many in the opening-day crowd of 12,301 heading for the exits. Those who left didn't get to see the Bulldogs pad their lead with four runs in the bottom of the sixth.
The first two came on Palmeiro's 20th homer, a towering drive to right field off Mike Trapasso, the Cowboys' third pitcher. After a walk, an error and a single by Davis loaded the bases, Van Cleve delivered a two-run single that made it 11-1.
The Bulldogs made it 12-1 in the seventh when Thiesen and Clark singled, and Palmeiro followed with a sacrifice fly.
Oklahoma State finally got to a tiring Morgan in the ninth, with Bobby McKercher's bases-loaded single accounting for Oklahoma State's final two runs.