HOOVER Ala. — The fourth-seeded Diamond Dawgs held Vanderbilt to just three hits all night, but an RBI single from Vandy’s Julian Infante proved to be enough, as State dropped a 1-0 pitchers’ duel with the top-seeded Vanderbilt Commodores in the third round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament Thursday night at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium.
State (46-12) outhit Vanderbilt 6-3, but the Commodores stifled MSU with runners on base. The Dawgs managed to put a runner on in their first eight innings, but had nothing to show for it.
In the bottom of the second inning, Vanderbilt (47-10) got a base runner on with one out when senior Stephen Scott was hit by a pitch. Junior Harrison Ray then singled to put two runners on. After a strikeout, Infante looped an RBI single into shallow left, which ended up being the winning run.
The Dawgs threatened in the top of the sixth when sophomore Justin Foscue singled to center field and moved up to second on a wild pitch. However, the threat ended with back-to-back strikeouts.
Foscue and senior Marshall Gilbert accounted for two hits apiece of the Dawgs’ six total hits.
SEC Pitcher of The Year, redshirt-junior southpaw Ethan Small (8-2), fanned 11 batters in seven innings of work. He allowed just the one run on three hits, but was charged with the loss. Senior Peyton Plumlee tossed the eighth inning and surrendered just one base runner via walk.
Junior Drake Fellows (11-0) struck out eight batters, walked one and allowed five hits in six innings to earn the win.
MSU will now face LSU, who the Dawgs beat in 17 innings on Wednesday. Friday’s showdown begins at approximately 6:30 p.m. CT on SEC Network.