HOOVER Ala. — A 12-2 loss Friday night to LSU at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium sealed No. 5 Mississippi State baseball’s fate at the 2019 Southeastern Conference Tournament.
MSU opened the SEC Tournament with a 6-5 win over LSU in a 17-inning battle on Wednesday. State then dropped a 1-0 game to Vanderbilt on Thursday before Friday’s 12-2 loss to LSU eliminated MSU from the tournament.
Hitting woes continued for State (46-13), as the Dawgs were limited to just five hits in the contest. Sophomore Rowdey Jordan (2-for-2) and junior Dustin Skelton (2-for-3) were responsible for four of State’s six hits in the contest. The two RBIs came at the hands of Skelton and sophomore Tanner Allen.
The Tigers (37-23) scored all 12 of their runs between the third and fourth innings on their way to the 12-2 seven-inning run-rule win. MSU scored both its runs in the bottom of the third.
The Tigers jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the third inning after an RBI double from senior Brandt Broussard, a pair of RBI singles from junior Josh Smith and senior Antoine Duplantis, an RBI fielder's choice from freshman Drew Bianco and a bases loaded walk from junior Zach Watson.
State added two runs in the bottom half of the third on two hits to make it 5-2. Back-to-back one-out walks from senior Jake Mangum and Jordan began the inning. Allen then followed up with an RBI single through the left side. After sophomore Justin Foscue worked a walk, Skelton came through with an RBI single to center field.
In the fourth inning, LSU loaded the bases before six consecutive scoring plays gave the Tigers a 12-2 game-ending lead. A sacrifice fly from Bianco scored the first run before an RBI single from Daniel Cabrera, an RBI double from Watson, an RBI single from senior Chris Reid, an RBI double from sophomore Saul Garza and an MSU error plated the other six runs of the frame.
Freshman right-hander JT Ginn (8-4) got the start on the mound and suffered the loss after allowing five runs (four earned) on four hits in 2 1⁄3 innings. He struck out five batters and walked two.
The Dawgs used five relief pitchers in the game with the most effective being redshirt-junior Spencer Price and freshman Eric Cerantola. Price struck out one batter in a scoreless 1 1⁄3 innings, while Cerantola also struck out one in a scoreless two innings of work.
Junior right-hander Aaron George (3-1) came into the game in the third inning and earned the Tiger win after tossing 2 2⁄3 innings of scoreless baseball. He struck out one batter and surrendered one walk.
MSU will now await the NCAA Tournament. The 2019 NCAA Baseball Championship bracket will be announced on ESPNU on Monday at 11 a.m. CT.