Mississippi State Evens Series, 4-1
Communications Graduate Assistant
BATON ROUGE, La. — LSU leftfielder Beau Jordan launched a solo shot in the bottom of the second, but it was the only run that Mississippi State starter Ethan Small allowed as the Bulldogs evened the SEC series with a 4-1 win over the Tigers Friday night at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
With the loss, LSU falls to 17-11 overall and 4-4 in conference play, while MSU improves to 14-13 and 2-6 in the SEC.
The Tigers and Bulldogs square off in the rubber match at 2 p.m. CT Saturday in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field. The game will be available online only through the SEC Network+, which is accessible through Watch ESPN and the Watch ESPN app.
Small fired eight innings and limited the Tigers to one run on four hits. The southpaw walked one, struck out nine and improved to 2-2 on the season. Right-hander Cole Gordon entered to pitch the ninth and struck out two Tigers on the way to his second save of the year.
Right-hander Caleb Gilbert (3-2) suffered the loss. The junior pitched 5.1 innings and allowed four runs—two earned—on seven hits, walked two and struck out six.
“Small just had us completely off balance, and we just didn’t have many real good swings,” said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. “We hit a couple of balls well that the wind kept in the ball park, but there’s no excuses there. We just ran up against a really good pitcher that was on his game tonight.”
In the top of the second with two outs, Mississippi State third baseman Justin Foscue homered to left field to give the Bulldogs the 1-0 lead.
Jordan answered Foscue with a dinger of his own to left field to knot the score at one run with one out in the bottom of the second. The senior’s home run was the fifth this season, marking the most home runs that he’s recorded in a single season during his LSU career.
The Bulldogs took the 2-1 lead in the fourth inning. With the bases loaded and two outs, a passed ball drove in second baseman Hunter Stovall, who reached earlier in the inning on a fielder’s choice.
In the top of the fifth inning, Mississippi State put runners in scoring position. Tanner Poole led off with a single and center fielder Jake Mangum reached on a fielding error. The tandem moved to scoring position on a wild pitch. Shortstop Luke Alexander drew a walk on a wild pitch in the dirt, which brought home Poole to extend the Bulldogs’ lead to 3-1.
Back-to-back singles by left fielder Elijah MacNamee and Foscue opened the sixth inning for the Bulldogs. After Mangum was intentionally walked with two outs, Alexander singled deep to third base, scoring MacNamee, and Mississippi State jumped out to the three-run lead.