By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal
STARKVILLE – Mississippi State began the season with 17 consecutive wins but stumbled out of the SEC gates at Dudy Noble Field on Friday night.
Mason Katz homered twice, including a two-run shot in the 10th inning, as No. 7 LSU rallied past No. 13 MSU for a 6-4 win in the league opener for both teams.
MSU (18-3, 0-1 SEC) lost a 4-1 lead and couldn’t get it back, hitting into four double plays and stranding 11 runners.
Katz hit his first homer, also a two-run job, in the sixth inning to cut MSU’s lead to 4-3. In the 10th, he hammered a Will Cox offering well over the left-field wall.
“We served up their best hitter two mask-high pitches right down the middle of the plate, and that’s really the difference in the ballgame,” MSU coach John Cohen said.
LSU (17-1, 1-0) tied it 4-4 in the seventh thanks to a pair of walks, an error and two wild pitches by reliever Chad Girodo.
MSU had its chances to pull back ahead but couldn’t get the timely hits. In the seventh, Demarcus Henderson hit into a double play, and he did so again in the ninth. He hit into three twin killings total.
State loaded the bases in the eighth with two outs, but Hunter Renfroe, who hit a two-run home run in the first inning, struck out looking.
MSU went ahead 4-1 in the fifth with a two-out rally, notching four consecutive singles. Renfroe and Alex Detz each drove in a run.
Detz finished with three hits.
MSU starter Jacob Lindgren gave up a run in the fourth inning, then worked a quick fifth. Lindgren allowed three runs on five hits with seven strikeouts and no walks in 52⁄3 innings.
Reliever Joey Bourgeois (2-0) got the win.
Game 2 is today at 6 p.m. MSU sends Evan Mitchell (0-0, 2.30 ERA) to the mound to face LSU’s Ryan Eades (3-0, 1.80 ERA)