On a night where the Memphis Tigers controlled the baseball game the majority of the contest, Mississippi State mounted a comeback in the eighth inning scoring four times only to have the game slip away in the ninth 7-6.
It was a strange twist of fate that led to the Bulldogs loss as the bases were loaded in the ninth inning with Caleb Reed on the mound. State was simply one pitch away from getting out of the jam when Mitch Slauter was called for catcher interference leading to the go-ahead run crossing the plate.
The Bulldogs (6-2) got the tying run on base in the bottom of the ninth but couldn’t get the run across the plate, leaving a bitter-sweet taste in the mouth of the MSU program.
“I’m really pleased that our kids fought back but we were not locked in during the early part of the game with a two and a half hour delay and that’s pretty disappointing,” said MSU head coach John Cohen. “We’ve got to have some young people that grow up a little bit and we knew we were going to hit some peaks and valleys. We really struggled tonight and we’ve just got to keep working.”
The game was made interesting in the bottom of the eighth with MSU trailing 6-2 and one out. Slauter reached base after being hit by a pitch, Trey Porter then drew a walk before Daryl Norris delivered a two-RBI double down the left field line.
In heroic fashion, Wes Rea then stepped to the plate and crushed a pitch over the left-center wall to tie the game at 6-6. Freshman Brandon Woodruff then reached when he was struck by an errant pitch and would later advance to second on a wild pitch. Taylor Stark singled to center but Woodruff was held at third with just one out in the frame. However, State didn't plate the go-ahead run due to back-to-back ground outs by Sam Frost and Adam Frazier to end the innings.
For the evening, Mississippi State pounded out six runs on ten hits while Memphis turned in seven runs on 13 hits.
Jonathan Van Eaton gets the win for Memphis while Reed picked up his second loss of the season at 0-2.
The Diamond Dawgs will be back in action this weekend as they host Connecticut and Lipscomb for a round-robin series of baseball at Dudy Noble.