LOS ANGELES – Mississippi State came out on the short end of a pitcher’s duel Friday night.
No. 17 MSU scored in the ninth inning and left the bases loaded but a strikeout ended things as No. 9 UCLA escaped with a 2-1 victory in the Dodger Stadium College Baseball Classic at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
The Bulldogs (7-3) saw a six-game win streak snapped in their first road game of the season.
Junior right-hander Dakota Hudson (1-1) was sensational for a second straight week for the Bulldogs. Hudson worked seven innings, allowing five hits and two runs (one earned), with six strikeouts and three walks.
Unfortunately, Hudson was outpitched by UCLA sophomore right-hander Griffin Canning. Canning (2-0) came within one out of a complete-game shutout. In 8.2 innings of work, Canning allowed five hits and one run (earned), with 12 strikeouts and two walks.
In the MSU ninth inning, the Bulldogs eventually got to a tiring Canning, who was lifted after 135 pitches.
After a flyout started the ninth inning, Jake Mangum drew a walk. Pinch-hitter Cole Gordon grounded out, sending Mangum to second base. From there, Canning was chased by a line drive RBI-double off the outfield wall by Ryan Gridley.
In relief, UCLA turned to Tucker Forbes who hit a pair of batters to load the bases. Brian Gadsby entered in relief and got a strikeout to nail down his second save.
MSU had one other scoring threat in the sixth inning. In that frame, Luke Alexander and Jack Kruger each had hits. A pair of strikeouts snuffed that threat.
UCLA (4-5) scored an unearned run on a sacrifice bunt attempt in the second inning and stretched the lead to 2-0 on an RBI-double by Luke Persico.
Each team finished with five hits. Kruger had his team-best sixth multiple hit game of the season.
MSU continues tournament play with a 3 p.m. CT start Saturday at Southern Cal. That contest will available on a local radio broadcast on WMXU-FM (106.1).
(From MSU Media Relations)