The Andy Cannizaro era is officially underway in Starkville, Mississippi as the first time head coach and his team welcomed Texas Tech to the Carnegie Hall of College Baseball this evening. Things didn’t go as planned for the Bulldogs tonight, as they wound up dropping the first game of the season 5-2.
Mississippi State struggled at the plate, going 7 for 32 on the evening. Luke Alexander, Hunter Stovall, and Jake Mangum had the most success hitting tonight, combining for 5 hits, 3 walks, and an RBI.
State’s pitching had a few lows and gave up 5 runs, but it also revealed that it has plenty of talent and potential. Konnor Pilkington drew the start and surrendered 4 earned runs in 3.1 innings, but he also struck out 7 in his time on the mound. A rough 4th inning when Pilkington’s pitch count started climbing was when the 4 earned runs were scored.
Jacob Barton relieved Pilkington and threw 4.2 scoreless innings where he got 4 strikeouts of his own. Barton was eventually replaced by Riley Self in the 9th inning. Self threw 1 inning and struck out 2 in his appearance.
The Bulldogs will have plenty of upcoming opportunities to bounce back. This was the first time a lot of the lineup played any significant amount of time against a quality opponent and it provided plenty to learn from.
Mississippi State will face Western Illinois tomorrow at 4:00 pm. State will play Western Illinois again on Sunday at noon before getting a rematch with Texas Tech in the second game of a double header.