STARKVILLE –A tough start proved too much for the No. 13 Mississippi State baseball team to overcome Wednesday night.
Western Kentucky built an early lead and held on for a 3-1 college baseball win at Dudy Noble Field.
Six WKU pitchers combined to hold the MSU hitters in check. The Bulldogs were held to a season-low one run on seven hits.
The Hilltoppers (7-8) scored in the first inning on two walks, a base hit and a groundout.
MSU (15-4) responded in the third inning when Cody Brown singled, took second when Gavin Collins reached as a hit batsman and scored on a Wes Rea single.
Things stayed tied at one until the Hilltoppers broke through in the sixth inning.
Danny Hudzina, Phillips Diedrick and Hunter Wood had consecutive singles to load the bases for WKU. From there, Ross Mitchell gave way to Zac Houston. Houston’s first batter was Kaleb Duckworth, who connected for the go-ahead sacrifice fly.
In the eighth inning, the Hilltoppers expanded the lead with a run on a walk, dropped third strike and infield error.
Rea had multiple hits for the Bulldogs.
Wood had two hits for the Hilltoppers.
Cody Coll (2-1) picked up the win, with one inning of relief. Logan Weins started and pitched two innings. Connor McHugh followed before giving way to Coll. John Harman followed in the sixth inning. Tate Glasscock and Josh Bartley also pitched, with Bartley earning his first save.
Mitchell (3-2) was the hard-luck loser, after allowing seven hits and one run in five innings of relief. Paxton Stover drew the start but faced only three batters. Myles Gentry preceded Mitchell, while Houston, Trent Waddell and Trevor Fitts also pitched.
MSU opens Southeastern Conference play with a three-game series against Alabama. Game times are 6:30 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday and 1:30 p.m. Sunday. All three games will be on SEC Network +.
(From MSU Media Relations)