Despite walking 11 hitters and committing three errors, the Mississippi State baseball team left Trustmark Park in Pearl with a 10-9 win over Southern Miss.
But after the game, MSU coach Chris Lemonis said he knew the sloppy play wasn’t a recipe for sustained success.
“We’re not going to be successful in the long run if we walk that many and make errors,” Lemonis said.
Friday night was proof he was right.
The Bulldogs (6-4) committed four errors, walked eight batters and had just three hits in their 8-3 loss to Ohio State (4-5) in the opening game of the Frisco College Baseball Classic at Riders Park.
The Bulldogs scored their first run without even recording a hit in the inning. Three walks and a missed catch on a toss to second base plated MSU’s tally in the fifth inning, and a fielder’s choice brought home another in the eighth. Lane Forsythe drew a bases-loaded walk with MSU down to its final out in the ninth.
But when it counted, it was all Ohio State.
The Buckeyes posted crooked numbers in both the sixth and seventh innings, breaking a 1-1 tie and cruising to a lopsided win.
With two away, Cole Andrews’ bases-loaded walk broke the deadlock in the sixth, and Tyler Pettorini narrowly missed a grand slam but was happy to settle for a three-run double off freshman Starkville Academy product Evan Siary.
In the seventh against JUCO transfer Colby Holcombe, Ohio State scored on an error by second baseman Amani Larry, then plated two more runs on a single and an error in the outfield. A third error — a bad throw by third baseman Slate Alford — was sandwiched in between the other two.
The Buckeyes scored their first run in the fourth when Henry Kaczmar raced home on a wild pitch.
It was the lone run allowed by switch-pitching freshman Jurrangelo Cijntje, who impressed again in his first turn in the weekend rotation.
Cijntje allowed just one hit — an infield single from Kaczmar in the fourth — while walking just two and striking out four.
Of course, MSU itself had only one hit, a leadoff double by Lane Forsythe in the third, until Bryce Chance and Colton Ledbetter singled in the eighth. Forsythe plated Kellum Clark from third base on a fielder’s choice.
Ledbetter’s infield single loaded the bases with two out, but Connor Hujsak pinch hit for Dakota Jordan and struck out to end a promising threat.
Mississippi State loaded the bases again in the ninth, and Forsythe drew a walk with two away to force in a run.
The Bulldogs’ next game is against Oklahoma (5-4), a finalist in last year’s Men’s College World Series, at 1 p.m. Saturday in Frisco.
Theo DeRosa reports on Mississippi State sports for The Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter at @Theo_DeRosa.
You can help your community
Quality, in-depth journalism is essential to a healthy community. The Dispatch brings you the most complete reporting and insightful commentary in the Golden Triangle, but we need your help to continue our efforts. Please consider subscribing to our website for only $2.30 per week to help support local journalism and our community.