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Bulldogs battle right to the end

June 3, 2014

The Mississippi State baseball team saw another successful season come to an end Monday night with its 34th NCAA regional appearance and fourth straight. (Photo by Rogelio V. Solis, AP)

Brett Pirtle ran down to first base for the last time in a Mississippi State jersey with just one thought in mind. 
Throw the ball at me, not at the first baseman.
"I was just hoping he would throw it and hit me in the back of the helmet, but it didn't happen," Pirtle said. "That's just the way the cookie crumbles sometimes." 
Pirtle struck out on a ball in the dirt, but the catcher hit the first baseman in the glove and ended the Bulldogs' season with a 5-3 loss to Louisiana-Lafayette in the final of the Lafayette (La.) Regional Monday night.
The Bulldogs won the first two games in the regional and looked poised to go to their third super regional in the last four years, but lost twice to the Ragin' Cajuns.
MSU finished the season with a 39-24 overall record. The Bulldogs went 18-12 in the Southeastern Conference where they finished third in the Western Division standings and in a tie for fifth overall. 
Pirtle's final at-bat does not embody what the Tyler, Texas, second baseman's career has been about. He finished the regional with 11 hits and four runs batted in on his way to All-Regional honors. 
He batted .363 in his final year with MSU. In his two seasons with the Bulldogs, Pirtle had a career batting average of .337 and totaled 158 hits. 

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