HOOVER, Ala. — Despite leading for most of the first six innings of the game, Mississippi State baseball (31-25, 15-15 SEC) fell 8-5 to the LSU Tigers (34-23, 16-15 SEC) in the opening round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament Tuesday night at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium.
The Dawgs got on the board first in the top of the third inning. Rowdey Jordan hit a lead off single. After Tanner Allen flew out, Hunter Stovall hit a single of his own. Justin Foscue later doubled and scored both runners to give MSU a 2-0 lead.
In the next inning, State loaded the bases on three walks and then scored a run on a sacrifice fly by Allen to push the lead to 3-0.
LSU got on the board in the fifth inning on a sacrifice fly by Zach Watson and an RBI-single from Antoine Duplantis to cut the lead to just one run.
The Diamond Dawgs then got a run back in the sixth inning on an RBI-single by Allen that scored Josh Hatcher, who reached on a single, and made it a 4-2 game.
A sacrifice fly by Beau Jordan and an RBI-single by Brandt Broussard tied the game in LSU’s half of the sixth.
The Tigers then took the lead in the seventh inning and didn’t give it back. Watson led the inning off with a single. Antoine Duplantis followed with another single. Daniel Cabrera was then given a free pass to load the bases. Jake Slaughter drove in the go-ahead run for LSU after getting hit by a pitch. Nick Coomes hit a sac-fly to score Duplantis and give LSU a 6-4 lead.
State added a final run in the top of the eighth inning by hitting back-to-back-to-back singles from Dustin Skelton, Hatcher and Mangum. Mangum’s single scored a run to make it 6-5 in LSU’s favor.
The Tigers then added two insurance scores in the eighth inning from a Duplantis RBI-triple and an Austin Bain RBI-single.
State out-hit the Tigers 14-12. Mangum, Jordan, Allen, Skelton and Hatcher each had multiple hits for MSU.
Duplantis led the Tigers and finished with three of LSU’s 12 hits.
Konnor Pilkington got the start on the mound for MSU before being lifted with two outs in the fifth inning. He allowed two runs, both earned, on four hits. He struck out five batters and walked two.
JP France (4-4) pitched 1.1 innings in relief and was charged with the loss. Zach Neff, Blake Smith, Cole Gordon and Riley Self followed France to the mound.
Devin Fontenot (2-0) earned the win for LSU. He had a perfect one inning of work.
MSU will now await its NCAA Tournament fate.