COLLEGE BASEBALL: Mississippi State: 21-26 (6-17 SEC)

– Looking back: MSU and Alabama only played two games thanks to inclement weather, and the Bulldogs lost them both – 10-8 and 17-16. Both times, late-inning rallies came up just short.
Poor pitching was again the story for MSU. Greg Houston, making his first start of the year, was tagged for five runs in 3.2 innings Friday, and MSU got down 10-1 before staging a rally over the last two frames.
Nick Routt was OK in Game 2, yielding three runs on seven hits in five innings before rain and lightning suspended the game until Sunday. The bullpen promptly yielded an eight-run seventh as Alabama recaptured the lead for good.
MSU’s team ERA is now 6.42, worst in the SEC.
The offense looked good, though, banging out 26 hits on the weekend and blasting five homers over the final two innings Sunday.
n Looking ahead: The Bulldogs are off until a trip to Oxford this weekend for a three-game set with red-hot Ole Miss (36-13, 16-8), which is tied for the best overall record in the SEC.
The Rebels have won eight of their last 10 SEC games, and they beat State, 8-1, in the Governor’s Cup on April 14 in Pearl. Ole Miss won two of three at Starkville last year.
– In the SEC: While Ole Miss has NCAA regionals on its mind, State is trying to avoid missing the SEC Tournament for the second straight year – that’s never happened since the tourney began in 1977.
MSU is four games back of the No. 8 seed with six games to play.
– MVP: Junior first baseman Connor Powers continues to pound the ball, going 5-for-10 with two home runs and five RBIs against Alabama. He hit both homers in Sunday’s game, when he was 3-for-5 with four RBIs.

Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal

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