The Diamond Dawgs (9-6) and Wolverines (5-8) split a doubleheader Friday night at Dudy Noble Field,
Despite fantastic pitching from Konnor Pilkington, MSU dropped game one 2-1. Luke Alexander’s two-run home run led MSU to a 4-2 win in game two.
GAME 1 - Utah Valley 2, Mississippi State 1
Pilkington’s great pitching wasn’t enough, as a late-inning rally led the Wolverines past the Diamond Dawgs, which snaps MSU’s five-game winning streak.
MSU took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning from an RBI sac-fly by Rowdey Jordan, which scored Josh Hatcher.
Pilkington allowed just three hits and no runs, with 12 strikeouts and no walks in his seven innings of work.
The Diamond Dawgs held a 1-0 lead until the seventh inning when the Wolverines knotted things up off a fielder’s choice RBI by Callahan Moltzan. Utah Valley took a 2-1 lead in the 11th inning with another fielder’s choice RBI, this time by Jackson Overlund, which ended up being the game-ending score.
Cole Gordon (1-1) was charged with the loss after pitching 2.2 innings. He struck out one batter, and walked three batters.
Utah Valley also got a good outing from its starter on the mound, Jake Mayer pitched eight innings and allowed just one run on seven hits. He struck out four batters. Fabian Palacios (1-0) earned the win for the Wolverines. He pitched 1.1 innings and allowed just one hit.
The Diamond Dawgs finished with 10 hits, led by four hits from Hatcher, but stranded 12 base runners.
GAME 2 - Mississippi State 4, Utah Valley 2
A three-run eighth inning led the Diamond Dawgs past the Wolverines in the second game.
MSU took an early 1-0 lead in bottom of the first inning after a Tanner Allen RBI double scored Hunter Stovall. Utah Valley tied the game at one run apiece in the third inning after a Trevor Howell RBI single.
The Diamond Dawgs fell behind in the sixth inning after another RBI single by the Wolverines, this time by Trevor Peterson.
The eighth inning is when the Diamond Dawgs made their mark. An inning in which they scored three runs, MSU would take a 4-2 lead. Stovall got things going with a one-out walk. He stole second and later scored on an Allen double, his second of the evening. Alexander followed with a two-run shot down the left field line, which was his first home run of the year to give the Diamond Dawgs a 4-2 game-clinching lead.
Ethan Small was the starting pitcher for MSU. He pitched six innings, allowing three hits and two runs, both earned, with 10 strikeouts and just one walk.
Keegan James (1-1) was credited with the win after pitching the seventh and eighth innings. He allowed one hit and struck out two batters. Blake Smith earned his second save after pitching a shutout ninth inning.
Utah Valley’s starting pitcher, Jackson Cofer, pitched seven innings and allowed just one run on three hits.
The Diamond Dawgs and Wolverines will conclude their weekend series Sunday with a 1 p.m. CT first pitch at Dudy Noble.