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No. 3 Mississippi State baseball drops rubber match to Missouri 16-8

Bulldogs fall to 36-13.

Mississippi State Athletics

STARKVILLE, Miss. — The No. 3 Mississippi State baseball team fell 16-8 to Missouri in Saturday’s rubber match at Dudy Noble Field.

With the loss, the Bulldogs fall to 36-13 (17-10 SEC), while the Tigers improve to 14-33 (7-20 SEC).

The Bulldogs found themselves trailing 8-0 through three innings. MSU then cut the deficit to 10-8, but Missouri scored six unanswered runs to come away with a 16-8 win.

The Bulldogs outhit the Tigers 16-15 and had five players collect multiple hits. Freshman Kellum Clark recorded three hits and one RBI, while senior Tanner Allen and graduate student Scotty Dubrule also recorded three hits apiece.

Junior Luke Hancock and sophomore Logan Tanner finished with two hits and one RBI each.

Senior Houston Harding (5-2) got the start on the mound and allowed six runs (four earned) on six hits with one strikeout in two innings of work.

Missouri sophomore pitcher Ben Pedersen (1-1) earned the win after tossing 4 23 innings of scoreless relief pitching. He allowed four hits, struck out two batters and walked one.

The Tigers jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Senior Mark Vierling led off with a single to left field. After a flyout, senior Andrew Keefer hit a grounder that looked like a potential double play, but Harding lost the handle, and everyone was safe. The baserunners advanced to second and third on a groundout before senior Clayton Peterson hit a two-RBI single up the middle.

In the top of the second inning, senior Alex Peterson hit a home run to left field to extend Missouri’s lead to 3-0.

The Tigers then struck for five runs in the top of the third inning to take an 8-0 lead. Sophomore Torin Montgomery led off with a double down the left-field line. Clayton Peterson then laid down a sacrifice bunt. Harding tried to get the lead runner, but he was safe to put runners on the corners. Junior Joshua Day’s single scored a run before a walk loaded the bases. Redshirt senior Brandt Belk followed with a pinch-hit grand slam.

MSU managed to cut the deficit in half in the bottom of the fourth inning. Hancock and Tanner began the frame with back-to-back home runs. Dubrule and Clark followed with a single and double to put runners on second and third. A sacrifice fly plated one run before senior Rowdey Jordan’s double scored another run to make it an 8-4 game.

In the top of the fifth inning, Alex Peterson hit a one-out home run to make it 9-4. Belk followed with a walk and advanced to second on a single. He then advanced to third on a passed ball and scored on a wild pitch.

The Bulldogs then scored four runs on five consecutive one-out hits to draw within 10-8 in the bottom of the fifth inning.

RBI singles from Day and redshirt sophomore Luke Mann pushed the Missouri lead to 12-8 in the top of the seventh inning.

In the top of the ninth inning, Missouri added four runs to end the game’s scoring at 16-8. Freshman Ross Lovich was hit by a pitch to begin the frame. Lovich made his way to third on a throwing error on the next play before scoring on a wild pitch. Mann followed with a three-run home run to right field.

The Bulldogs will return to action Tuesday when they host Jacksonville State at Dudy Noble Field at 6:30 p.m. CT. The game will be streaming on SEC Network+.