NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The No. 4 Mississippi State baseball team (28-9, 10-6 SEC) was held to just three hits in Friday’s 6-2 series-opening loss to No. 2 Vanderbilt (30-6, 12-4 SEC) at Hawkins Field.
Senior Rowdey Jordan accounted for two of Mississippi State’s three hits. MSU junior starting pitcher Christian MacLeod (3-3) was charged with the loss after allowing four runs on four hits with seven strikeouts and four walks in 3 2⁄3 innings.
Sophomore pitcher Stone Simmons then came in and tossed 3 1⁄3 innings of solid relief pitching, allowing two runs on three hits with three strikeouts and one walk.
Vanderbilt junior starting pitcher Kumar Rocker (9-1) was dominant in pitching a complete game. He allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits with eight strikeouts.
The Bulldogs struck first in the top of the first inning to take a 1-0 lead. Jordan led off with a ground-rule double to right-center field, advanced to third on a flyout and scored on an RBI groundout by sophomore Kamren James.
After two scoreless innings, Vanderbilt scored four runs on three hits to take a 4-1 lead in the bottom of the fourth. Junior Dominic Keegan and freshman Jack Bulger drew back-to-back walks to begin the inning. Sophomore CJ Rodriguez then singled to left field to score the Commodores’ first run. After a groundout, junior Isaiah Thomas hit a two-RBI single and freshman Enrique Bradfield Jr. hit an RBI single.
A walk and single began the bottom of the eighth inning before a sacrifice bunt put runners on second and third for the Commodores. Senior Cooper Davis plated both runners with a single up the middle to make it a 6-1 ballgame.
In the top of the ninth, James hit ground ball to third base and the throw to first was thrown in the stands as James was awarded second base. Junior Luke Hancock’s single scored James and ended the game’s scoring.
The Bulldogs and Commodores will run it back Saturday at 7 p.m. CT on ESPNU.