February 19, 2012 6:38:00 PM
STARKVILLE - The comeback effort fell short in the opening game of the doubleheader at Dudy Noble Field.
Mississippi State suffered its first loss of the 2012 campaign in a 6-5 decision in 13 innings to Washington State.
The Bulldogs (1-1) were down 3-0 before they even got on the scoreboard as MSU starting pitcher Nick Routt struggled in another opening weekend start. The senior southpaw would only last two innings and give up three earned runs over five hits in just 43 pitches.
Dating back to 2010, as he was hurt to start the 2011 campaign, Routt has an unimpressive pitching line that looks like this: 5 IP, 12 H, 9 R, 7 ER, BB, 6 K
Washington State (1-1) got all six of its runs without RBI production from its pair of sluggers as first baseman Taylor Ard and Derek Jones went a combined 1-for-11 at the plate. The hero of the day to get both teams to the nightcap in Starkville was senior econd baseman Tommy Richards delivering a two-RBI single to left field on a laboring MSU closer Caleb Reed to pick up its first victory of the 2012 season.
In his 2012 debut, Evan Mitchell completed a very efficient day out of the bullpen by going 4 1/3 innings but allowing just two hits and a earned run while fanning eight in 59 pitches. The sophomore who threw a complete game in the NCAA Atlanta Regional against Austin Peay last season struggled with command as a true freshman but has gotten off on the right foot for 2012 season.
Reed's line before the final pitch to Richards that knocked the preseason All-American selection out of the game was admirable going 6 1/3 innings (7th to 13th frame) in his first appearance and allowing just the pair of runs on three hits while striking out a career-high nine batters in 95 pitches.
Trey Porter continued his introduction to not only MSU but Division 1 college baseball by going 3-for-4 with a massive two-run home run deep over right field wall to tie the game at 3-3 in the sixth inning. The junior college transfer from Gulf Coast Community College is now 5-for-7 in his early MSU career with a home run, three runs scored and 2 RBIs.
Washington State used seven pitchers in the first of the two scheduled games and MSU had a scoring chance on every single one of them but left 16 runners on base and hit just 3-for-18 with runners in scoring position.
The final game of the series and today's doubleheader was scheduled to start at 6:35 p.m.
Washington State (1-1) 6,
Mississippi State (1-1) 5
W - Nick LaRoy (1-0) 1/3 IP, 2 H, ER, K
L - Caleb Reed (0-1) 6 1/3 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 9 K in 95 pitches
S - Scott Simon (1) IP, 0 H, 0 R in 6 pitches
Most Valuable Player: Washington State senior 2B Tommy Richards 3-for-5 with two runs scored and the game-winning two-RBI single to left field in the 13th inning
Turning Point: 13th inning - Washington State senior second baseman Tommy Richards delivering a two-RBI single to left field on a laboring MSU closer Caleb Reed to pick up its first victory of the 2012 season.
Next game: Today, 6:35 p.m. vs. Washington State
All of the Dispatch MSU Sports Blog readers: feel free to follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/matthewcstevens for up-to-date Mississippi State coverage.
2. How We Got Oral Contraceptives BOOK REVIEWS
3. Columbus tree lighting to have new look, locale ENTERTAINMENT