April 7, 2014 10:47:14 AM
BATON ROUGE, La. -- The No. 9 Mississippi State baseball team couldn't match a monster offensive afternoon by LSU on Sunday afternoon, falling 17-4 at Alex Box Stadium.
LSU (24-8-1, 6-5-1 Southeastern Conference) tallied its best output for runs and hits (20) in conference play to sweep the three-game SEC series. LSU handed MSU (20-13, 6-6) its first three-game sweep of the season.
"Things are bunched in our league and it is going to be a wild race to the end," MSU coach John Cohen said. "Things did not happen for us this weekend. We had some hard-hit balls. We couldn't turn those into runs. On the mound today, we couldn't contain them. That has not happened very often this season."
LSU built a 7-0 lead with two runs in the first and second innings and three more scores in the third. The Bulldogs crawled back into the game with single scores in the fourth and fifth.
In the fourth, Jake Vickerson singled and scored on a double by Gavin Collins. In the fifth, Brett Pirtle reached on a dropped third strike. Derrick Armstrong followed with a single, while C.T. Bradford had an RBI single.
The Bulldogs left the bases loaded in that at-bat and didn't get any closer.
LSU put the game away with three runs in the fifth and six in the sixth. In the sixth, the Tigers homered twice. Christian Ibarra had a solo home run and Kade Scivicque added a grand slam.
The Bulldogs scored in the eighth when Collins doubled and later scored on a ground out by Cody Walker. Bradford finished a two-hit night with an RBI-double in the ninth.
"We hit a lot of balls hard in this game," Cohen said. "In the second inning, Seth Heck lines a ball to first when the bases loaded. If the ball is another inch either way, we have a chance to score two or three runs early. It was that type of weekend."
For MSU, Dakota Hudson (1-2) drew his first start in league play and took the loss. Hudson allowed six hits and six run (five earned) in 2 2/3 innings. Jonathan Holder, Myles Gentry, Vance Tatum, Austin Sexton, and Lucas Laster worked in relief.
Laster allowed three hits and one unearned run in 2 2/3 innings.
The Bulldogs had 12 hits, including a three-hit game by Vickerson and two-hit games by Armstrong, Bradford, Collins, and Zack Randolph.
Scivicque and Ibarra each had three hits for LSU. Parker Bugg (1-1), the third of five LSU pitchers, earned the win.
MSU will face Southern Mississippi at 6:35 p.m. Tuesday at Trustmark Park in Pearl before returning home to play host to Ole Miss at Dudy Noble Field for a Super Bulldog Weekend three-game series. The Bulldogs and Rebels meet at 6:30 p.m. Friday, 3 p.m. Saturday (Fox Sports Net South), and 1:30 p.m. Sunday.
"It's a very big week ahead for our club," Cohen said. "It is always fun to play in Pearl and we need a big Maroon and White crowd down there supporting us. The weekend means Ole Miss, and we look forward to having the best atmosphere in all of college baseball for that weekend series."
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