KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (MSU Athletics/WTVA) - In baseball, they say that one miscue can cost you a game and that adage was ever true on Saturday (April 6) evening at Lindsey Nelson Field, as a fifth-inning error allowed two Tennessee runs to score in an eventual 2-1 loss for the No. 5 Mississippi State baseball program.
Mississippi State (26-6, 6-5 SEC) scored a single run in the fourth, before Tennessee (23-9, 4-7 SEC) tallied two runs in the fifth on an MSU error to take the lead.
Senior Elijah MacNamee scored State's lone run, as he singled in the fourth and moved to second on a wild pitch. Sophomore Justin Foscue followed the wild toss with an RBI single up the middle.
The Volunteers got a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth, as the first two batters reached base. Max Ferguson walked and Jake Rucker singled. Then, after Landon Gray put down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners to second and third, MSU senior Peyton Plumlee called for time following the putout, which was not granted, and tossed the baseball into the dugout for an error. That error allowed both runs to score.
Plumlee allowed just the two runs – one earned – in 5 1/3 innings of work. He walked three and struck out three, while allowing just two hits. Junior Colby White allowed one hit and struck out two in 1 1/3 innings of work, while junior Jack Eagan struck out one in a clean 1 1/3 innings of work.
MacNamee was 1-for-3 in the game with a walk and a run scored, while senior Marshall Gilbert also reached base twice, collecting a single and a walk.
Head Coach Chris Lemonis
On Peyton Plumlee's outing
"Peyton [Plumlee] gave us a really good start, except for the one play… I thought he was really [pitching] as a game-time decision. He showed up to the park thinking that JT Ginn was going to start, so to do that, he held us in that game. It is hard to win if you only score one run."
On what he saw from his offense
"I thought we were a little big [with our swings] tonight. The ball was flying out of the park during batting practice, but the park played big when the wind stopped blowing. You also have to tip your hat to their [starting pitcher]…We have been really good offensively for most of the year, but you have to show up every night and be ready to play."
Elijah MacNamee – Moved his hitting streak to nine game and his reached base streak to 27 games with a 1-for-3 day at the plate. He also walked and scored one run.
Justin Foscue – Moved his reached base streak to 12 games with an RBI single in the fourth inning.
Peyton Plumlee – Threw 5 1/3 innings in the start and allowed two runs – one earned – on two hits. Struck out three and walked two.
Jake Rucker – Reached base three times, including a 2-for-2 night at the plate. He also scored the eventual game-winning run.
Max Ferguson – Walked twice and scored a run.
Elijah MacNamee singled with one out in the frame and moved to second base on a wild pitch. Justin Foscue pushed MacNamee across the plate with a single up the middle.
Mississippi State 1, Tennessee 0
Tennessee put its first two hitters on base, as Max Ferguson walked and Jake Rucker singled. Landon Gray put down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners up one base and, following the putout at first, Peyton Plumlee called for time, which was not granted, and tossed the baseball into the dugout for an error. That error allowed both runs to score.
Tennessee 2, Mississippi State 1
The rubber game in the series between Mississippi State and Tennessee will wrap up with a 1 p.m. CT first pitch on Sunday, April 7 at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.