Bulldogs come up short against No. 19 Red Raiders
STARKVILLE, Miss. - A four-run fourth inning proved costly as No. 14 Texas Tech ruined the coaching debut of Andy Cannizaro with a 5-2 win over Mississippi State Friday at Dudy Noble Field.
The Bulldogs and Red Raiders played before an opening-day record crowd of 10,217. It was the 39th largest crowd in Dudy Noble Field history and the 45th game in school history with 10,000-plus fans in attendance.
Sophomore left-hander Konnor Pilkington started strong for the Bulldogs before running into trouble in the fourth inning. Pilkington (0-1) was lifted with one out in the fourth inning, after allowing four hits and five runs (four earned), with a career-high matching seven strikeouts and a walk.
From there, the Bulldogs kept the bats of the Red Raiders in check. Junior right-hander Jacob Barton worked the Bulldogs out of a tight spot in the fourth inning and threw 4.2 innings. Barton allowed three hits. Freshman right-hander Riley Self threw a perfect ninth inning.
As a staff, the Bulldogs struck out 13.
After Texas Tech (2-0) built a 1-0 lead in the second inning, MSU tied things in the third inning. Sophomore Hunter Stovall singled. Fellow sophomore Jake Mangum then reached on a fielder's choice, forcing Stovall. Sophomore Luke Alexander followed with an RBI-double to drive in Mangum.
That would be the lone tally against Texas Tech sophomore left-hander Steven Gingery. Gingery (1-0) allowed four hits and one run (earned), with eight strikeouts and two walks.
The Bulldogs loaded the bases in the eighth inning against the Red Raiders' bullpen but only managed a bases-loaded walk issued to Elih Marrero. The Bulldogs also stranded three runners in the ninth inning and stranded eight total for the game.
Offensively, MSU finished with seven hits. Stovall and Alexander were the lone multiple hitters.
Hunter Hargrove and Josh Jung had two hits apiece for the Red Raiders. Texas Tech had eight hits as a team.
MSU will face Western Illinois at 4 p.m. Saturday at Dudy Noble Field, with sophomore Peyton Plumlee slated to take the mound for his MSU debut. That contest will be available on SEC Network +. The first of seven State to the Show poster giveaways will take place, with fans able to get an Adam Frazier poster.