STARKVILLE, Miss. — No. 5 Mississippi State baseball surrendered 13 hits and walked six batters in Saturday’s 9-5 loss to Kent State at Dudy Noble Field.
Junior right-hander Eric Cerantola (0-1) got the start on the mound for the Bulldogs and allowed four runs on five hits in three innings pitched. He walked four batters and struck out four.
The Bulldogs (7-3, 0-0 SEC) managed 10 hits and walked four times, but they stranded six runners. Graduate student Scotty Dubrule and sophomore Kamren James notched two-hit performances, while sophomore Kyte McDonald saw his first collegiate action as a pinch-hitter and brought in two runs with a double.
MSU scored one run in the bottom of the third before scoring one in the eighth and three in the ninth. The Golden Flashes (4-3, 0-0 MAC) scored two in the second, two in the fourth, three in the fifth and two in the ninth.
Junior right-hander Luke Albright (2-1) earned the win for Kent State after tossing 6 2⁄3 innings, allowing one run on five hits with four strikeouts and four walks.
Kent State sophomore Justin Miknis led off the second inning by drawing a walk. Junior Justin Kirby singled to right field before sophomore Mack Timbrook was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Freshman Michael McNamara’s single scored Miknis and a walk for graduate student Cam Touchette scored Kirby to make it 2-0.
The Bulldogs got on the board in the third inning when James led off with a double and scored on an RBI single from senior Rowdey Jordan.
The Golden Flashes extended their lead by two runs to 4-1 in the fourth inning. Junior Collin Mathews hit a solo home run to start the inning. Redshirt senior Kevin Dobos then singled to center field and stole second before McNamara walked and Touchette singled to load the bases. Redshirt senior Ben Carew followed with a single to plate the second run of the inning.
A two-RBI double by McNamara and an RBI single from Carew pushed the Kent State lead to 7-1 in the the fifth.
In the eighth inning, Dubrule doubled through the left side to start the inning and advanced to third on a wild pitch. He then scored on a groundout to third by senior Tanner Allen to make it 7-2.
The Golden Flashes picked up two more runs in the ninth to lead 9-2. Timbrook singled to start off the inning. After a strikeout, Dobos singled to right field to put runners on the corners. Both runners scored thanks to an error on McNamara’s fielder’s choice.
The Bulldogs flirted with a comeback in the bottom half of the ninth. James singled to get things started. A single through the left side from senior Tanner Leggett followed before McDonald’s pinch-hit double scored two runs. A single by Dubrule scored McDonald with two outs. The game-tying run stood on deck, but the Bulldogs could not get him to the plate and fell 9-5.
Sunday’s rubber match is slated for noon CT and can be watched on SEC Network+.