Things seemed to be looking up for Mississippi State baseball.
The Bulldogs had risen to No. 15 in the rankings after a three-game sweep of Oregon over the weekend and appeared poised for their fifth consecutive victory Tuesday night.
MSU held a seemingly comfortable 12-6 lead over Eastern Kentucky in the eighth inning which provoked coach John Cohen to begin emptying the bench.
The move backfired as The Colonels scored six runs in the frame off MSU relievers Ethan Small and Vance Tatum which would later force the game into extra innings.
EKU was able to plate four more runs off Blake Smith in the top of the 10th to complete the rally in a 16-12 win.
“We’re trying to involve our entire roster and trying to find a way to win these type ball games,” Cohen said. “Tonight it just didn’t happen for us. You have to give a lot of credit to Eastern Kentucky. It’s a team that really badly wanted to win this ballgame and apparently wanted to win it more than us.”
The Colonels (8-8) outhit State 17-15 on the evening with 11 of those hits coming in their final three at bats.
The loss spoiled a stellar evening at plate for Diamond Dog first baseman Nathaniel Lowe. Lowe was 3-for-4 with a double, home run and seven RBIs. It was the most runs batted in during a game since Ryan Duffy did so against Jackson State in 2010.
“I’m seeing the ball well and we’d made a couple of structural adjustments earlier in the week,” Lowe said. “I’m just glad I could put it to work today.”
Jacob Robson was 3-for-6 with a double for Mississippi State while Brent Rooker, Elih Marrero and Cody Brown all added a pair of singles. Gavin Collins also contributed a solo homer as the Bulldogs fell to 12-4-1.
MSU is back in action today hosting Oral Roberts at 6:30 p.m. The Golden Eagles are 7-8 on the year having lost three straight including an 8-3 decision at Jacksonville State on Tuesday.