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No. 10 Arkansas Takes SEC Series From No. 3 Mississippi State Baseball with 12-5 Win

MSU falls to 32-8.

Hail State Pics/Mississippi State Athletics

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — After falling to No. 10 Arkansas 5-3 on Thursday, the No. 3 Mississippi State baseball team was held to just five hits in a 12-5 loss to the Razorbacks Friday night at Baum-Walker Stadium.

With the loss the Diamond Dawgs fall to 32-8 (10-7 SEC), while Arkansas improves to 29-10 (11-6 SEC) with the Southeastern Conference series win.

Arkansas scored a run in the bottom first inning before four more runs came across to score in the second inning to give the Razorbacks a 5-0 lead. Redshirt-senior Trevor Ezell drew a walk to leadoff Arkansas’ half of the first. He then advanced to second on a passed ball before moving to third on a single from junior Dominic Fletcher. A fielder’s choice then plated him. A grand slam from sophomore Casey Martin in the second inning gave Arkansas the five-run lead.

The Dawgs managed two runs in the third inning to cut into the deficit. Junior Dustin Skelton began the inning off with a single to right field. After a strikeout, a single from junior Gunner Halter moved him to second before senior Jake Mangum came through with an RBI single to center field. Two walks sandwiched between a strikeout scored Halter to make it a 5-2 game. The Razorbacks added a run back in the bottom of the third after sophomore Heston Kjerstad drew a walk, advanced to second and third on a pair of wild pitches and scored on an RBI single from sophomore Casey Optiz.

Martin began Arkansas’ half of the fourth inning with a walk and came around to score on an RBI triple from sophomore Matt Goodheart.

The shining moment of the game for Dawgs came in the fifth inning when MSU scored three runs. Sophomore Jordan Westburg hit a one-out single to the third base before sophomore Tanner Allen drew a walk to put two runners on base. After a flyout, sophomore Justin Foscue cleared the bases with a three-run home run to left field to draw the Dawgs within two runs at 7-5.

After a scoreless sixth inning, the Razorbacks put the nail in the coffin with a five-run seventh inning. The inning saw four walks, including two RBI walks. A two-RBI single from Optiz scored the third and fourth runs before a fielding error scored the fifth Razorback run of the inning to give them a 12-5 lead. The Dawgs went without a hit in the eighth or ninth innings, as the Razorbacks took the series with the 12-5 win.

Senior right-hander Peyton Plumlee (2-3) was charged with the MSU loss after allowing five runs—four earned—on three hits. He struck out one batter and walked three. Six relievers pitched in the contest for the Dawgs. In all, MSU surrendered 16 walks in the ballgame.

Redshirt-junior Kevin Kopps (3-3) earned the Arkansas win after coming into the game in the sixth inning. He tossed three innings and allowed no runs on no hits. He struck out three batters and surrendered one walk.

MSU will look to avoid the sweep on Saturday beginning at 2 p.m. CT. It will be televised by SEC Network+ and the Mississippi State Sports Network.