After an incredibly fun first two games of SEC play that had very impressive victories over the second best team in the nation, Mississippi State (14-6-1, 2-1 SEC) was hit square in the jaw with the final game of this series. Vanderbilt (17-3, 1-2 SEC) gave their fans something to be excited about on Sunday by coming a few runs short of scoring more than their football team averaged points per game this season with a 12-6 win.
Vanderbilt got to scoring early, jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the first. The Commodores scored their three runs thanks to a cringeworthy amount of errors given up by the Bulldogs as all three runs were unearned.
A Jack Kruger RBI single that brought Jake Mangum home would get Mississippi State on the board in the third inning and give MSU fans hope that the Bulldogs could fight their way back by cutting the lead down to 3-1. That hope, however, would go away as the Commodores would score five more runs in the bottom half of the inning to take a 8-1 lead.
State didn't go quietly though. A two-RBI single by Mangum that scored Luke Alexander and Elih Marrero would cut the lead down to 8-3 in the fourth inning. Reid Humphreys would go on to hit a double down the left field line that would bring Gavin Collins home in the fifth inning, brining the score to 8-4. A Ryan Gridley single and a wild pitch would bring Humphreys home to bring MSU within three with a score of 8-5.
And in the seventh inning, Hunter Stovall hit an RBI single that would cut the lead to 8-6, but that is as close as MSU would get. Vandy would go on to tack on four more runs in the last few frames, one in the seventh inning and three in the eighth, to bring up the final score of 12-6.
Despite today's disappointing results, Mississippi State's series victory over No. 2 Vanderbilt is still a huge one. It helps boost the RPI and can give confidence to a young team that is still learning to play together.
The Bulldogs will play again at 6:30 on Tuesday as they host Mississippi Valley State. MSU will return to SEC action as they host Georgia starting Thursday.