ATHENS, Ga. — The No. 23 Mississippi State baseball team failed to produce any offense and gave up seven runs in the eighth inning en route to an 11-0 loss to No. 20 Georgia in Friday night’s Southeastern Conference opener at Foley Field.
With the loss, MSU falls to 11-8 (0-1 SEC), while Georgia improves to 15-3 (1-0 SEC).
The Maroon and White was outhit 8-3. Graduate student Jess Davis, junior Logan Tanner and graduate student RJ Yeager each recorded one hit for MSU. Georgia was led by graduate student Ben Anderson with a 2-for-5 night at the plate with four RBIs and one run. Graduate student Connor Tate and sophomore Fernando Gonzalez both recorded two hits, two runs and one RBI.
Junior pitcher Preston Johnson (2-1) started for MSU and was charged with the loss after allowing four runs (three earned) on five hits with 10 strikeouts and one walk in six innings of work.
Senior Cam Tullar then pitched a clean seventh inning with two strikeouts. Sophomore Mikey Tepper entered in the eighth inning and allowed a single and walked the next three batters before being replaced by freshman Cole Cheatham. Tepper was charged with allowing four runs, while Cheatham allowed three.
Georgia junior starting pitcher Jonathan Cannon (4-1) pitched eight innings, striking out nine batters and only allowing three hits. Junior Nolan Crisp faced three batters in the ninth inning and forced three groundouts.
Georgia got on the board in the bottom of the second inning thanks to a solo home run from Tate to go up 1-0. The lead was then extended to 2-0 in the bottom of the third inning. Graduate student Chaney Rogers hit a leadoff single. Graduate student Cole Tate then hit a grounder to third base and Rogers was able to score on an errant throw by junior Kamren James.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Gonzalez hit a two-out single to left field and Anderson followed with a two-run home run to make it a 4-0 ballgame.
Georgia then scored seven runs on just three hits in the bottom of the eighth inning to take an 11-0 lead. Cole Tate hit a leadoff single to start things. After that, sophomore Corey Collins and Connor Tate drew back-to-back walks to load the bases. Another walk plated a run before Collins scored on another error by James. An RBI fielder’s choice, an RBI double by Gonzalez and a two-RBI single by Anderson ended the game’s scoring.
MSU and Georgia will play Game 2 Saturday at 1 p.m. CT on SEC Network+.