HOOVER, Ala. — The third-seeded Mississippi State baseball team was eliminated from the Southeastern Conference Tournament on Thursday with a 12-2 loss to second-seeded Tennessee at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium.
With the loss, the Bulldogs fall to 40-15, while the Volunteers improve to 43-15.
MSU recorded just four hits in its first game of the tournament and was held to eight by Tennessee. Senior Rowdey Jordan and graduate student Scotty Dubrule recorded two hits each.
MSU junior starting pitcher Christian MacLeod (5-4) was charged with the loss after allowing five runs on five hits with four strikeouts and one walk in four innings.
Junior starting pitcher Chad Dallas (10-1) got the win for the Volunteers after tossing 6 2⁄3 innings, allowing one run on six hits with two strikeouts and one walk.
After a scoreless first inning, Tennessee took a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning. Senior Evan Russell drew a one-out walk before redshirt junior Luc Lipcius was hit by a pitch. After a flyout, senior Pete Derkay hit a three-run home run to right-center field. Junior Connor Pavolony followed with a double to left field and scored on senior Liam Spence’s single to center field.
In the top of the third inning, senior Brayland Skinner reached on a fielder’s choice. Jordan followed with a single to center field before Skinner made his way to third on a wild pitch. Senior Tanner Allen singled to left field to make it 4-1.
Tennessee added one to its lead in the bottom of the fourth inning when sophomore Jordan Beck homered to right field.
Spence and junior Max Ferguson began the bottom of the fifth inning with back-to-back singles. After a strikeout, sophomore Drew Gilbert plated a run with a single to right field before Ferguson stole home to make it a 7-1 ballgame.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, MSU sophomore pitcher Will Bednar fanned the first two batters he faced before walking Pavolony and surrendering a single to Spence to put runners on the corners. Ferguson followed with an RBI single to right field to increase the Tennessee lead to 8-1.
The Bulldogs got a run in the top of the eighth inning when sophomore Logan Tanner drew a leadoff walk, advanced to third on a single from senior Josh Hatcher and scored on a fielder’s choice to make it 8-2.
MSU sophomore closer Landon Sims entered the game in the bottom of the eighth inning and surrendered a trio of singles from Beck, Derkay and Pavolony to load the bases. A walk allowed one run to score before Ferguson hit a two-RBI double down the right-field line. The game ended via run rule when Gilbert hit an RBI single to make it 12-2.
The Bulldogs will now await their destination for the NCAA Tournament. The field will be announced Monday.