Bulldogs stumble in finale

8TB6_MSU_primary_logoBy Logan Lowery

Daily Journal

STARKVILLE – Having scored 23 runs in the first two games to clinch the series over No. 6 Vanderbilt, Mississippi State’s bats finally cooled down in the Sunday finale.

The No. 21 Bulldogs managed just three hits and fell 5-1 to the Commodores, who had their streak of 15 consecutive SEC series wins snapped on Saturday.

“Vandy hadn’t lost a series since 2012, so it was huge to take it here,” said MSU pitcher Trevor Fitts. “Obviously we wanted to go for the whole sweep but it was great to take two.”

The Bulldogs clinched the series with a 6-3 victory late Saturday.

Fitts and Vandy starter Tyler Ferguson were locked in a pitchers’ duel through the first six frames both firing a shutout.

The Commodores (20-5, 3-3 SEC) squeezed home a run in the seventh then took advantage of a pair of State errors in the final two innings to pad that lead.

Too generous

“It was a little bit of misfortune,” said MSU coach John Cohen. “We caused ourselves some problems by giving them some runs late in that ball game.”

Ferguson (4-0) picked up the win, tossing six scoreless innings giving up a pair of hits and two walks while striking out three.

Fitts (2-1) allowed one run on five hits while fanning six and walking one through 61⁄3 innings as State fell to 17-9, 4-2 in the SEC.

Gavin Collins went 2-for-3 with a double for MSU, which was out-hit 10-3.

“We had a ton of quality at-bats today, it just didn’t happen for us,” Cohen said. “We didn’t help ourselves in the way we defended those later innings. Our pitchers deserved better.”

MSU returns to action Tuesday, hosting Southeast Missouri at 6:30 p.m.

logan.lowery@journalinc.com