NASHVILLE – For the sixth time in as many decisions, Mississippi State has opened an SEC weekend with a loss.
Vanderbilt (25-17, 8-10 SEC) pounded a pair of home runs in the first two innings for a decisive advantage on Friday night and a late rally by the Bulldogs fell short in an 8-6 defeat.
The teams will play again today at 1 p.m.
Mississippi State (21-22, 6-13) quickly found itself trailing 7-1 in the game at Hawkins Field.
Vandy’s Aaron Westlake hit a grand slam in the first inning and Steven Liddle hit a three-run homer in the second to chase Bulldogs starter Forrest Moore (2-1).
Meanwhile, Commodores starting pitcher Mike Minor (4-3) worked 72/3 innings, allowing seven hits and four runs (all earned), with a career-high 13 strikeouts and three walks.
Down 8-1, MSU came up with three runs in the eighth on an two-run double by Cody Freeman and an RBI triple by Brent Brownlee. They scored a pair of runs with two outs in the ninth on a homer by Connor Powers, his 14th of the season.
Powers has hit safely in 13 consecutive SEC games.
Vandy has won five straight meetings in the series, The Bulldogs last won back-to-back games in Starkville in 2005.
From school reports