By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal
STARKVILLE – As Mississippi State continues searching for clutch hitters, the losses are starting to stack up.
No. 7 LSU (18-1, 2-0 SEC) went deep twice Saturday night and got a stellar outing from pitcher Ryan Eades to down the No. 13 Bulldogs, 7-3, to capture the series on SEC opening weekend.
LSU won Friday’s opener, 6-4.
Mason Katz hit his third homer of the weekend, and Alex Bregman’s three-run job in the ninth polished things off as MSU (18-4, 0-2) lost for the fourth time in five games.
It was the Tigers’ 12th consecutive win.
“We got 10 hits, it’s just more about the clutch hits,” said MSU’s Trey Porter, who had three hits, two of them doubles. “I think they had a couple of times where they got the hit when they needed it, and that’s kind of where we need to go.”
State was 0 of 8 with runners in scoring position and is 2 of 16 on the weekend. In the field, the Bulldogs made three errors.
“Through this first weekend we’re evaluating who can really deal with pressure situations and who can’t,” MSU coach John Cohen said, “and the guys who can’t, we don’t need to put them in those situations, because we have too deep a pitching staff to have that happen.”
Eades (4-0) tossed seven innings, giving up the one run on six hits with eight strikeouts and two walks.
MSU starter Evan Mitchell (0-1) left with two men on and nobody out in the fifth. Reliever Ross Mitchell allowed a two-run double to Jacoby Jones, making it 3-0 LSU. Mitchell was charged with three runs (two earned), and the only hit he allowed was the Katz homer.
Katz had two home runs on Friday, including the go-ahead blast in the 10th inning, and now has an SEC-leading nine on the season.
Game 3 is at 1:30 p.m. today. Senior righty Kendall Graveman (1-1, 2.61) is slated to start for MSU against sophomore lefty Cody Glenn (3-0, 0.73) for LSU.