May 15, 2009
STARKVILLE -- The Mississippi State baseball team could not hold a lead Thursday night, suffering a 5-4 loss to second-ranked LSU in a Southeastern Conference game at Dudy Noble Field.
Mississippi State (24-28, 8-19) led 4-1 before LSU scored three runs in the seventh inning and one run in the eighth.
Mississippi State needed to sweep the three-game series with LSU to finish the season with a .500 record.
LSU (40-14, 19-9) maintained sole possession of first place in the overall conference standings with the win. The Tigers maintain a one-game lead over both Ole Miss in the Western Division and Florida overall. Both of those teams also won Thursday night.
Mississippi State overcame an early 1-0 deficit by scoring a run in the second and three runs in the third. But the Bulldogs missed opportunities to do more damage, leaving the bases loaded in the first and stranding two runners in the second.
In the second inning, Frank Rawdow drew a two-out walk, Grant Hogue and Ryan Collins followed with back-to-back hits, with Collins driving in Rawdow.
An inning later, Ryan Duffy hit a double to right field to start things off. Connor Powers drew a walk, a sacrifice bunt moved both runners, and Russ Sneed followed with an RBI single through the left side of the infield. Jet Butler had an RBI single for a 3-1 lead and Rawdow connected for a sacrifice-fly to make it 4-1..
The third ended when Butler was retired trying to take second base on the sacrifice fly.
From there, LSU starter Anthony Ranaudo (7-3) settled down, pitching four straight scoreless innings before being lifted after a strikeout in the eighth inning. He pitched 7 1/3 innings, allowing six hits and four runs (all earned), with six strikeouts and five walks.
LSU''s Matty Ott worked around three base runners to earn his 12th save of the season.
Mississippi State starter Tyler Whitney also had a quality start. He was lifted after back-to-back hits to lead off the seventh inning. He allowed five hits and three runs (all earned), with two strikeouts and four walks.
Lee Swindle faced three batters but managed only one out, while Chad Crosswhite (0-4) pitched the final 2 1/3 innings and took the loss.
Mississippi State had nine hits, led by Duffy, Sneed and Butler with two hits each. Scott DeLoach ran his hit streak to 11 games.
n Ole Miss 7, Arkansas 5: At Fayetteville, Ark., Ole Miss capitalized on errors and timely hits to beat Arkansas.
Ole Miss (38-15, 18-10 SEC) set a school record for wins in conference play with the victory.
Drew Pomeranz (6-3) was the winning pitcher as he pitched 5 2/3
innings, allowing five runs on 10 hits with two walks and 10 strikeouts.
Jake Morgan earned his eighth save of the season as he pitched the final two innings and held the Razorbacks scoreless on one hit and struck out one.
Dallas Keuchel (7-3) suffered the loss as he pitched 6 2/3 innings and gave up seven runs on nine hits with three walks and six strikeouts.
Brett Basham led Ole Miss at the plate with a 3-for-5 performance and a run scored.
n Auburn 3, Alabama 2: At Auburn, Ala., Auburn scored the tying run on a two-out single in the ninth inning and scored the winning run on two-out, bases-loaded walk in the 10th inning.
Alabama (36-16, 17-10 SEC) had an eight-game winning streak snapped with the loss and fell into fourth-place in the league standings behind LSU, Ole Miss and Florida.
Auburn''s Wes Gilmer opened the 10th inning with a single to right field against sophomore right-hander Nathan Kilcrease, who allowed the tying run to score on three hits in the ninth inning for the Tide''s eighth blown save of the season.
Justin Hargett''s sacrifice bunt against junior right-hander Adam Scott moved Gilmer into scoring position. Scott then hit Trent Mummey to put runners at first and second with one out.
Sophomore Tyler White replaced Scott and hit Ben Jones to load the bases. White got Hunter Morris to pop out for the second out and got ahead of Brian Fletcher with a 1-2 count before three straight balls scored pinch-runner Bradley Ray from third base with the winning run.
Kilcrease (4-3) was losing pitcher after allowing two runs on four hits in 2/3 innings out of the bullpen.
n Southern Miss rained out: At Hattiesburg, Southern Miss'' series opener against Tennessee Tech was postponed due to inclement weather.
The two teams are scheduled to play a doubleheader today. The first pitch for the opener is scheduled for 3 p.m.
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