STARKVILLE, Miss. — The No. 2 Mississippi State baseball team fell 11-5 on Saturday in the second game of a three-game series against the No. 3 Arkansas Razorbacks at Dudy Noble Field.
With the loss, the Bulldogs fall to 17-6 (2-3 SEC), while the Razorbacks improve to 18-3 (4-1 SEC) and claim a series win.
MSU held a 4-1 lead through four innings, but Arkansas compiled nine runs between the fifth and seventh innings to take a commanding 10-5 lead. The Bulldogs scored their fifth run in the fifth inning. The Razorbacks added an insurance run in the ninth inning to end the game’s scoring at 11-5.
MSU was outhit 13-10 and was led by senior Tanner Allen with two hits, two RBIs and two runs scored. Junior Brad Cumbest added a pair of hits off the bench, while Kamren James recorded his fifth home run of the season on a 1-for-4 day at the plate.
Sophomore right-handed pitcher Will Bednar got the start on the mound and struck out a career-high 10 batters in five innings pitched. He allowed five runs (four earned) on six hits with one walk.
Junior righty Brandon Smith (3-1) was charged with the loss after allowing five runs on four hits with two strikeouts and two walks.
Arkansas senior starting pitcher Zebulon Vermillion allowed four runs on seven hits in 3 1⁄3 innings. Junior southpaw Caden Monke (3-0) earned the win with two-thirds of an inning pitched and two strikeouts. Redshirt senior righty Kevin Kopps pitched four scoreless innings to earn his second save.
in the bottom of the first inning, RBI singles from Allen and junior Luke Hancock made it 2-0 before an RBI double from sophomore Logan Tanner made it 3-0.
In the top of the third inning, junior Jalen Battles singled and scored when senior Matt Goodheart sent a ball to center field and senior Rowdey Jordan dropped the ball, allowing the run to score to make it 3-1. James’ home run to left-center in the bottom half of the third made it 4-1.
In the top of the fifth, a solo home run from redshirt senior Braydon Webb and a three-run home run from junior Christian Franklin gave Arkansas a 5-4 lead. Allen’s home run in the bottom half tied things at 5-5.
The Razorbacks took an 8-5 lead in the sixth inning thanks to a solo home run from redshirt senior Cullen Smith and a two-run shot from Goodheart.
In the seventh, junior Brady Slavens singled before Franklin doubled down the left-field line. Senior Casey Optiz walked to load the bases prior to the rain delay. Following the 74-minute delay, Smith flew out to score one run and Battles scored another run on a fielder’s choice to make it a 10-5 ballgame.
Arkansas scored its final run in the ninth to end the game’s scoring at 11-5. Smith drew a walk. Sophomore Robert Moore then singled into right field. He was hung up between first and second in a run down, but the Bulldogs forgot about Smith at first as he crossed home.
The Bulldogs will look to avoid the series sweep on Sunday at 2 p.m. CT on SEC Network.