STARKVILLE, Miss. — No. 7 seed Mississippi State baseball fell 9-1 to No. 10 seed Notre Dame on Sunday at Dudy Noble Field to set up a decisive Game 3 of the Starkville Super Regional on Monday.
With the loss, the Bulldogs fall to 44-16, while the Fighting Irish improve to 34-12.
MSU grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning when senior Rowdey Jordan tripled on the first pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly by senior Tanner Allen on the second pitch of the game, but that was it for the Bulldogs.
Notre Dame scored two runs in the first inning, four in the fourth, two in the sixth and one in the seventh.
MSU junior starting pitcher Christian MacLeod (6-5) allowed seven runs (six earned) on five hits over five innings pitched. He struck out seven batters and walked two.
For the Irish, junior starting pitcher Aidan Tyrell (5-1) tossed 7 1⁄3 innings and allowed one run on five hits with six strikeouts and three walks.
MSU’s one-run lead quickly evaporated in the bottom half of the first inning. A strikeout began the frame before senior Ryan Cole was hit by a pitch and senior Jared Miller drew a walk. Senior Niko Kavadas singled to right field to load the bases. Junior Zack Prajzner scored two runs with a two-RBI single to give Notre Dame a 2-1 lead.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, junior Carter Putz led off with a single to left field and advanced to second on sophomore Jack Brannigan’s one-out walk. Junior Brooks Coetzee put down a sacrifice bunt and forced an errant throw to reach base and score Putz. Senior David LaManna followed with a three-run home run to give the Irish a commanding 6-1 lead.
Notre Dame added two more runs to its lead in the bottom of the sixth inning when Prajzner singled and Brannigan hit a two-run home run to left field to make it 8-1.
The final run of the game came in the bottom of the seventh inning when Cole tripled to right field and scored on a fielder’s choice grounder to make it a 9-1 ballgame.
MSU and Notre Dame will meet again on Monday at 6 p.m. CT with the winner advancing to the College World Series. The game will air on ESPN2.