MSU drops series opener at Texas A&M

John Cohen

John Cohen

COLLEGE STATION, Tex. – Senior left-handed pitcher Lucas Laster pitched a gem but came up short Friday night as Mississippi State dropped a 3-1 decision to No. 1 Texas A&M in a Southeastern Conference baseball game played at Blue Bell Park.

Laster (4-2) allowed seven hits and three runs (two earned) in 7.1 innings of work. He struck out four and walked two.

Texas A&M improved to 32-2 overall and 10-2 in league play, while MSU fell to 21-15 and 5-8.

“Lucas did a great job for us tonight,” MSU head coach John Cohen said. “In all facets of the game, we competed and played well. We pitched as well if not maybe better than they did. We defended better than they did.

“They hit one ball that left the park, while we didn’t.”

A two-run home run by Logan Taylor placed the Aggies on the scoreboard in the fourth inning. An inning later, Texas A&M expanded the lead when a hit, walk and error were bunched together with a sacrifice fly.

MSU got the unearned run back in the sixth inning when Cody Brown and Gavin Collins each singled before Reid Humphreys reached on an error bringing a run home.

Texas A&M ace Grayson Long (7-0) also posted a strong start with seven innings of three-hit pitching. Long struck out four and walked two. Long had a stretch of 10 straight retired Bulldogs ending in the sixth inning.

Mark Ecker worked around a bases-loaded jam in the ninth inning to earn his sixth save.

“We had some quality at-bats against a great pitcher,” Cohen said. “We hit some balls hard without really having anything to show for it. Even though the record may not indicate it, we are getting better. We have pitched it and defended it well this season, we just have to get the offense going and we have players capable.”

MSU finished with five hits, including multi-hit games by Brown and Humphreys.

Texas A&M finished with eight hits. Including multi-hit games by Blake Allemand and Taylor.

The series resumes with a 1:05 p.m. start Saturday and concludes with a 1:05 p.m. start Sunday. Both of those games will be available nationally on SEC Network +.

I have covered Mississippi State in some capacity since 2004 and joined the Daily Journal staff in 2013. I enjoy short walks on the beach, performing concerts in my car and watching professional wrestling.

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