March 18, 2012 11:16:44 AM
BATONROUGE, La. - Mississippi State's first road trip of the baseball season servedup another heart-breaker Saturday night as the 21st-ranked Bulldogs dropped a 4-3 decision to No. 10 LSU in Southeastern Conference action at AlexBox Stadium.
With the victory, LSU clinched its sixth straight series win from MSU. The Tigershave won 11 of the past 13 contests played against the Bulldogs.
"We a rereal pleased with the pitching part of it right now," MSU head coach John Cohensaid. "Offensively, we have too many guys (offensively) trying to do too muchright now. LSU has gotten situational hits each of these two games and wehaven't."
LSU scored twice in the bottom half of the tenth inning to post a 3-2 victory inFriday's series opener. The Tigers are now 16-3 overall and 2-0 in league play, while the Bulldogs are now 14-7 and 0-2. On its first road trip of the season, the Bulldogs have lost all four, with three of those defeats coming by a singlerun.
"Right now, we are trying to do too much," Cohen said. "We have guys wrestling withthe bat. It is just not happening for us right now. We have to get better. Thekids are really competing their tails off. The SEC isn't forgiving. It does not care if you are playing hard or playing withemotion. All of the league cares about is whether you won or lost. We haveyoung guys and we have to get them playing at a higher level. We have the talent to do it. We just have to find a way."
The Bulldogshad another solid pitching performance. Starting pitcher Nick Routt (1-2) was lifted with two outs in the fourth inning. Routt allowed two hits and threeruns (all earned), with three strikeouts and a pair of walks.
In relief, Evan Mitchell completed the four-hitter. Mitchell allowed two hits andone run (earned), with seven strikeouts and three walks.
"Evan really gave us a lift," Cohen said. "He competed and gave us a chance. We havepitched both of these games very well. The margin of error is very small inthis league. We haven't caught any breaks, either."
MSU had its best scoring chance in the ninth inning. The Bulldogs loaded the bases withnobody out but managed only a single run on a sacrifice fly by Demarcus Henderson. Already with four hits in the contest, Trey Porter struck out to endthe contest.
"Trey is up there in his last at-bat trying to hit the ball to the moon," Cohen said. "As coaches, we have to work on getting him to calm down. That was a failure onmy part. We had several players in the last at-bat trying to do too much. You just have to remain patient and do you part to get the barrel of the bat whereit needs to be."
LSU built a 2-0 lead in the first inning. The Bulldogs answered with an RBI-single from Porter in the third inning. Down 4-1, the Bulldogs scored again in the eighth inning on a solo home run by Porter.
The Bulldogs stranded nine base runners and hit into four double plays.
"On three of those doubles play, we had the hit-and-run on and we fouled off apitch," Cohen said. "It is hard to hit-and-run more than one time in at-bat.Those are some of the breaks working against us right now."
The Bulldogs finished with 10 hits, including Porter's first four-hit night in the Maroon and White.
Tyler Hanover had two hits for LSU. Starting pitcher Ryan Eades (4-1) worked seveninnings for the win, while Nick Goody threw the ninth inning for his secondsave.
The series finale is at 1 p.m. today.
4. America and the Muslims BOOK REVIEWS