STARKVILLE – On a cold night at Dudy Noble Field, No. 7 Mississippi State could not get the bats heated up as the Bulldogs dropped a 2-1 decision to San Diego Friday in the opening game of a three-game series.
The Bulldogs almost snatched victory at the end when Gavin Collins had a potential game-winning two-run home run sail just left of the foul pole in the ninth inning. In the end, pinch runner Jake Vickerson was stranded at third base.
After winning 13-straight games to start the season, MSU (13-2) has been held to six hits each in consecutive losses to Arkansas-Pine Bluff and San Diego.
San Diego (5-6) scored in the second inning without the benefit of a base hit, thanks to a walk, hit batter, stolen base and wild pitch. The Toreros extended the lead in the fourth inning when another run trotted home on a wild pitch.
The tough Bulldog luck spoiled Preston Brown’s sixth career quality start. In his third-straight quality start, Brown (3-1) allowed five hits and two runs (one earned), with five strikeouts. Brown did walk three and hit another. Ross Mitchell threw 2.2 innings of one-hit shutout relief.
MSU finally broke through in the eighth inning. Cody Brown drew a leadoff walk, advanced to second base on a wild pitch and later scored on an RBI-single by Seth Heck.
In the ninth inning, Wes Rea started things with a leadoff single. A sacrifice bunt moved pinch runner Vickerson to second base before he was later stranded at third base.
Heck had his third straight two-hit game for the Bulldogs, while Brown also had multiple hits.
Ryan Kirby had two hits for San Diego.
David Hill (2-2) threw seven innings, allowing four hits and no runs to earn the win. Anthony McIver worked the Toreros out of a tight spot in the eighth inning and finished the game for his second save.
The series resumes at 2 p.m. Saturday.
(From MSU Media Relations)