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Diamond Dawgs fall in rubber match at LSU

Mississippi State fell to LSU 4-0 Saturday afternoon in Baton Rouge.

Posted: Mar. 31, 2018 9:51 PM

BATON ROUGE, La. (WTVA/MSU Athletics) - Mississippi State's weekend trip to Alex Box Stadium concluded with a 4-0 loss in the Southeastern Conference series rubber game Saturday.

No. 19 LSU improved to 18-11 overall and 5-4 in league play, while MSU fell to 14-15 and 2-7.

MSU received strong starting pitching for the third time in the series. Jacob Billingsley (2-2) worked 6.1 innings, allowing three hits and two runs (both earned), with seven strikeouts and three walks.

Zach Neff and J.P. France pitched in relief for the Bulldogs.

The three MSU pitchers combined to allowed seven hits with nine strikeouts.

"Jacob had an outstanding effort for us today," MSU head coach Gary Henderson said. "That's what you need in the rubber game of a three-game series. We just couldn't get the key hit at the right time.

"We need to clean up some things in the bullpen. However, the starting pitching was great. We had three strong starts."

LSU scored once in the second inning, twice in the seventh inning and also got a solo home from from Zach Watson in the eighth inning.

The Bulldogs had two golden opportunities to score, stranding two runners in the first inning and leaving the bases loaded in the sixth inning.

In that sixth inning, Hunter Stovall had a two-out double. A walk and hit batsman then loaded the bases.

LSU pitcher Ma'Khail Hilliard (6-1) pitched six innings of three-hit shutout baseball to get the win. Nick Bush earned his first save.

State will now return home for a brief four-game homestand, beginning Wednesday, April 5 with a 6:30 p.m. CT first pitch at Dudy Noble Field. A crawfish boil will be held for MSU students in right field while supplies last and will begin shortly after first pitch.

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