STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA/MSU Athletics) – Eighth-ranked Mississippi State fell victim to the long ball in college baseball action Saturday night. No. 2 LSU hit two home runs and cruised to a 7-3 Southeastern Conference victory Saturday night at Dudy Noble Field.
“We felt like we could get back in the game late,” MSU head coach John Cohen said. “However, we didn’t do a good job of pitching there in the ninth inning. We will find out who we are in the next couple of weeks. We talk about identity all of the time. Right now, we have some young guys trying to create an identity.
“We will keep getting better. Right now, we have some freshmen and the game is beating them over the heads.”
Fresh off a 6-4, 10-inning win Friday night, LSU clinched the weekend series. The Tigers improved to 18-1 overall and 2-0 in league play, while the Bulldogs fell to 18-4 and 0-2.MSU has now lost four of its last five games.
The Tigers built an early 1-0 lead on a home run by Mason Katz. Katz had homered twice in the Tigers’ victory Friday night. The lead grew to 3-0 on a two-run double by Mississippi native Jacoby Jones in the fifth inning.
MSU starter Evan Mitchell (0-1) was lifted prior to that at-bat in the fifth inning. Evan Mitchell allowed one hit and three runs (two earned),with four strikeouts and three walks. Ross Mitchell followed and kept the Tigers at bay through the seventh inning.
Myles Gentry was touched for three hits in relief late and Preston Brown was tagged for a three-run home run by Alex Bregman in the ninth inning.
Offensively, the Bulldogs broke up the shutout when Trey Porter doubled and later scored on a groundout in the sixth inning.
That would be the only tally off LSU starter Ryan Eades. Eades (4-0) allowed six hits and one run in seven innings of work, with eight strikeouts and two walks.
MSU’s Brett Pirtle touched LSU reliever Chris Cotton for a two-run home run in the ninth inning.
“Right now, we have to find an identity,” Cohen said. “When you are struggling, players try too hard to make the great play. You can win by being average in this league. We just have to calm down, find our identity and focus on making the average play and not forcing ourselves to try to do something great.”
Each team finished with 10 hits. Porter had three hits for MSU, while Adam Frazier and C.T. Bradford each had two hits. Jones and Raph Rhymes each had two hits for LSU.
The series concludes with a 1:30 p.m. first pitch Sunday.