Starkville, MS

Mississippi State baseball falls to No. 19 LSU 4-3 Saturday, drops series

Collin Wilmes

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Mississippi State Athletics

STARKVILLE, Miss. — The Mississippi State baseball team erased a 3-0 deficit to tie No. 19 LSU at 3-3, but a sixth-inning home run by LSU sophomore Jordan Thompson gave the Tigers a 4-3 series-clinching win Saturday at Dudy Noble Field.

With the loss, the Bulldogs fall to 18-14 (4-7 SEC), while the Tigers improve to 22-9 (6-5 SEC) and have now won nine consecutive series at Dudy Noble Field.

The Bulldogs outhit the Tigers 9-8, but MSU struck out 15 times, stranded 12 baserunners and was 1-for-15 with runners in scoring position. Graduate student RJ Yeager was 3-for-4 at the plate with a home run, while junior Kamren James was 2-for-5 with a home run and senior Luke Hancock was 2-for-4.

LSU was led by redshirt sophomore Cade Doughty and freshman Josh Pearson with two hits apiece.

Senior pitcher Parker Stinnett got the start on the mound for MSU and pitched two-thirds of the first inning, allowing three runs on three hits with one strikeout and two walks. Senior Brandon Smith (2-2) then pitched a career-high six innings and allowed just one run on four hits. He fanned four batters and walked one. Freshman Pico Kohn pitched the final 2 1⁄3 innings and allowed just one hit with four strikeouts.

Sophomore pitcher Blake Money started for the Tigers and allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits with five strikeouts and one walk. Graduate student Devin Fontenot (2-1), the third of six LSU pitchers, earned the win after allowing just one hit and striking out three batters in one inning pitched. Redshirt junior Paul Gervase pitched the final 1 2⁄3 innings, striking out four, and earning his second save.

In the top of the first inning, sophomore Tre’ Morgan hit a leadoff single and sophomore Dylan Crews drew a walk. Sophomore Jacob Berry followed with a three-run home run to right field to give LSU a 3-0 lead,

In the bottom half, Yeager hit a leadoff home run and James followed with a single to left-center field and advanced to second on a fielding error. Hancock then hit a single up the middle to put runners on the corners before a fielding error allowed James to score to make it a 3-2 ballgame.

The score remained the same until the bottom of the fifth inning when the Bulldogs knotted things at 3-3 on a solo home run down the left-field line by James.

In the top of the sixth inning, Thompson launched a home run to right field to give LSU a 4-3 lead.

The series finale between the Bulldogs and Tigers is set for 1 p.m. on Sunday at Dudy Noble Field on SEC Network+.

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