LEXINGTON, Ky. – Despite having a 1-0 lead going into the bottom of the eighth inning, Mississippi State dropped the middle game of a three-game Southeastern Conference series 4-1 to No. 17 Kentucky Saturday at Cliff Hagan Stadium.
With the loss, the Diamond Dawgs fell to 27-24 (11-15 SEC), while Kentucky improved to 33-17 (13-13 SEC).
MSU got on the board quickly, after Rowdey Jordan and Luke Alexander each drew walks, and Hunter Stovall hit an RBI-single to score Jordan to give the Dawgs a 1-0 in the top of the first inning.
The game would remain 1-0 all the way to the bottom of the eighth inning, as both teams had a good night of pitching.
Ethan Small pitched six innings for the Diamond Dawgs, allowing five hits and no runs. He added five strikeouts and two walks to go along with his impressive night. Three Kentucky pitchers combined to hold the Dawgs to just three hits.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, the Wildcats complied four hits that were good enough for four runs to take a 4-1 lead.
After a trio of singles from Trey Dawson, Tristan Pompey and Kole Cottam, Luke Becker hit a single of his own to score a pair of runs and give Kentucky a 2-1 lead. Cottam and Becker then scored on an MSU error to push the lead to 4-1.
Elijah MacNamee began the ninth inning with a leadoff walk, but that's all the Dawgs could manage, as Kentucky recorded three consecutive outs.
Kentucky out-hit MSU 9-3 in the ball game. Stovall, Justin Foscue and Jordan Westburg recorded hits for the Diamond Dawgs.
Luke Heyer, Pompey and Becker each had two hits for Kentucky.
JP France (3-3) was charged with the MSU loss after pitching the final two innings, allowing four runs, two earned, on four hits. He struck out one batter and walked one.
The Wildcats pitching staff consisted of Zack Thompson, Mason Hazelwood and Jimmy Ramsey.
Ramsey (3-1) earned the win for Kentucky after pitching 1.2 hitless innings.
The series will conclude today with a 2 p.m. CT first pitch on SEC Network.