FINAL: Vanderbilt 4, MSU 3, 12 innings (Game 2)

Recapping Mississippi State’s 4-3 loss to Vanderbilt in 12 innings at Dudy Noble Field on Saturday.

The buzz: Errors and missed opportunities at the plate cost MSU a chance at locking down its first SEC series victory of the season. The Bulldogs rallied from 3-0 down over the last three innings, with Hunter Renfroe‘s two-out double in the ninth tying it up. Vandy pulled ahead 4-3 with one out in the 12th on Anthony Gomez‘ RBI single to left field, and Tony Kemp just beat Renfroe’s throw home.

Big inning: Vandy got three unearned runs in the sixth inning. Center fielder C.T. Bradford dropped a deep fly ball by Gomez and then booted it, allowing him to go to third with one out. Mike Yastrzemski‘s infield single scored Gomez, and then Vince Conde had a two-out, two-run single to end MSU starter Kendall Graveman‘s day.

Key stats: MSU committed three errors, Vandy none. … MSU pitchers picked off two Vanderbilt base runners. Two State base runners were caught stealing. … MSU was 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position.

MSU at the plate: The Bulldogs didn’t get a hit off Vandy starter Tyler Beede until the fifth inning. They had five hits for the game. … Renfroe had two RBIs, one on a groundout in the seventh inning. State scored twice that frame without a hit. … Nobody had more than one hit for MSU.

Vanderbilt at the plate: Gomez, Yastrzemski and Conrad Gregor had two hits apiece. Those are the two-three-four hitters in the lineup. … Vandy had 10 hits total, with three doubles.

MSU on the mound: Graveman was solid, allowing no earned runs on four hits, striking out seven and walking one. He threw 75 pitches, 53 for strikes. … MSU used six relievers, including Taylor Stark, who’d been out since March 3 with a hamstring injury. He got out of a couple of late-inning jams and allowed no runs on one hit in 1 2/3 innings. … The loss went to freshman Jacob Lindgren (1-1), the fourth reliever of the day. He allowed one run on one hit and walked two in 2 1/3 innings.

Vanderbilt on the mound: Beede, a freshman and first-round selection in the 2011 MLB Draft, was on point. He went 6.0-plus innings, allowing one run on two hits, striking out five and walking three. … Vandy used three relievers, with Will Clinard (3-1) earning the win. He tossed 3 1/3 innings of one-hit, shutout ball.

Bottom line: MSU stranded 11 runners, and that’s a recurring theme for this young lineup. State is now 0-4 in Saturday SEC games and just has to win tomorrow (1:30 p.m.) to get some momentum going. Oh, and Vandy is now 1-8 in road games this season.

Quotable: “I thought we did everything right, except at home plate.” – MSU coach John Cohen

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