Bulldogs squander chances, lose series

8TB6_MSU_primary_logoBy Logan Lowery

Daily Journal

STARKVILLE – No. 20 Mississippi State had plenty of opportunities to take the series against Texas A&M on Saturday.

But after the second straight game of outhitting the Aggies, the Diamond Dogs lost 6-4 and dropped their second straight SEC series at home.

The Bulldogs are back at home Wednesday against Jacksonville State at 6:30 p.m.

“We were just a step slow in everything that we did,” said MSU skipper John Cohen. “We didn’t have our barrels in position even though we got 13 hits. We were a step slow in the infield and almost everywhere on the field including base running. All the excuses in the world are there. We had a short week and played a lot of games but that’s how it is and works the same for (Texas A&M).”

Stranded runners

The Bulldogs (28-17, 11-10) only struck out four times in 39 at bats but stranded 11 runners including three at third base. State also went down in order in the third, fourth and fifth innings while the Aggies tacked on two runs to break open a 3-3 tie.

A&M collected 12 hits led by Blake Allemand, who went 3-for-4 with three runs scored. Nick Banks was 2-for-4 with two RBI and Logan Taylor was 2-for-5 with a double as the Aggies improved to 10-11 in the league and 27-18 overall.

“They had 37 at bats and had 13 punch outs,” Cohen said. “Their margin of error was much slimmer than ours but every ball that they put in play found a hole somehow.”

Grayson Long (6-1) picked up the win lasting five innings, allowing four runs on 10 hits with two strikeouts and a walk. Ty Schlottmann came in to slam the door for the second straight day and earn his second save.

Preston Brown made his first start on the mound for the Diamond Dogs since March 29 due to a shoulder injury. But Brown’s appearance would be a short one, leaving four outs into the game and giving up three runs.

Ben Bracewell surrendered two more runs in 21⁄3 innings of relief and was saddled with the loss falling to 3-4.

Wes Rea paced Mississippi State at the plate going 3-for-4 with three singles and an RBI. Seth Heck and Zack Randolph were 2-for-4 each while Brett Pirtle went 2-for-5 and kept his hitting streak alive at 14 games.

logan.lowery@journalinc.com