The Alabama Crimson Tide got taken to the woodshed by the fifth ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs this weekend, being swept in their three game series. The aggregate score of the games we 28-4. The Dogs out hit the Tide 40-21 in the three games. Game one was the only game that was somewhat competitive, but Bama couldn't score and lost 6-0 to open the series. The games were played at the newly renovated Dudy Noble Field, the premier venue in college baseball now. MSU did this redo the way it should be done, just a spectacular place to enjoy a baseball game.
Game One- Lost 6-0
Sam Finnerty took his normal Friday night spot in the rotation and was matched up against the Bulldogs Ethan Small. Small has had an outstanding year, and looks to be a first round pick in June’s MLB draft. When the Dogs scored four runs in the second, on three singles, a double, and a home run, the game was over. Small was mowing down the Tide hitters with strikeout after strikeout. After the first five innings Small had 14 strikeouts, while allowing three hits and one walk. Small was pulled after six innings, allowing only the three hits and three walks with 15 strikeouts over 105 pitches thrown.
The Tide had one real chance to make a game of it when they loaded the bases with no outs in the third inning. Johnny Hawk singled, followed by a Kolby Robinson double and a Keith Holcombe double. Small bounced back and struck out the next three batters to strand the Tides hopes.
FInnerty settled down after the second and gave the Tide four scoreless innings through the sixth inning. The Bulldogs added two runs in the seventh off of Deacon Medders to truly put the game out of reach. Tyler Ras pitched a scoreless eighth for the Tide to finish the game out.
Tyler Gentry added a single to the hits of Hawk, Robinson, and Holcombe, as the only other Tide player to have a safety. Bama drew four walks and stranded eight runners on base. Finnerty allowed nine hits, with no walks and four strikeouts as well as four earned runs in being accessed the loss. The senior fell to 5-4 on the season. Small improved to 4-0 and now has 94 strikeouts in 51 innings pitched this season.
Game Two- Lost 9-1
Brock Love started game two for the Tide agains Peyton Plumlee for State. The Tide got one out singles in the second from Kolby Robinson and John Trousdale, but couldn't push them across the plate. Love was sharp for the first three innings, allowing only a two out single in the first and striking out four hitters. The Bulldogs took advantage of an infield single, two walks, a wild pitch, and a two run single to score twice in the fourth.
Love walked the first batter in the fourth and was replaced by Kyle Cameron. Two singles scored one run to make the margin 3-0 headed to the fifth inning. The Tide finally scored their first run of the weekend in the seventh, using a T.J. Reeves walk and stolen base, followed by an RBI single from pinch hitter Tyler Ras.
Any chance that Bama had were extinguished in the bottom of the seventh as MSU plated five runs on two home runs, two walks, and a single. Three relievers followed Plumlee and allowed only two hits and the single run the Tide scored.
The Tide improved to six hits in game two, walked three times, cut the strikeouts to only five, and stranded six runners on base. State had 10 hits, walked six times, struck out seven times, and stranded seven runners.
Robinson had two hits and Gentry, Reeves, Ras, and Trousdale had one each. Love fell to 4-2 with the loss, while Plumlee improved to 2-2.
Game Three- Lost 13-3
After a tornado passed through Starkville on Saturday night, the Sunday game was played in cold, blustery weather. The only thing hot was the Bulldog bats, banging out 17 hits and scoring 13 runs.
The Tide started reliever Casey Cobb on the mound for the first time this season. The Dogs got some help from Bama in the first and scored three runs. Jake Mangum lead off with an infield single and Jordan Westburg walked to put two on with on outs. Cobb settled down and got the next two batters on a ground out and a pop up. A pop fly to short right field found grass between first baseman Drew Williamson and right fielder Tyler Gentry to score two runs on what was very nearly out three. Two more hits, one an infield single, scored the third run of the frame.
State knocked Cobb out in the second, scoring three more times with five hits, including two doubles. Chase Lee, Brock Guffey, Jeremy Randolph, Jacob McNairy, and Deacon Medders followed Cobb on the mound. All but Medders gave up runs.
The Tide finally scored on a solo home run off the bat of Johnny Hawk in the top of the fifth. John Trousdale and T.J. Reeves also had singles in the inning, but could not score. In the seventh the Tide threatened to get back in the game, but couldn't sustain a significant come back. Down 8-1 in the seventh, John Trousdale drew a two out walk. Keith Holcombe ripped a double to deep center to score the runner. T.J. Reeves walked and Morgan McCullough followed with an RBI single, cutting the margin to 8-3. With two on and two out, Tyler Gentry struck out to end the inning.
The Bulldogs used three walks and three hits in the bottom of the seventh to stretch the lead out to 13-3, and end any thought of a Tide comeback. Holcombe walked to lead off the night and Reeves nearly blasted one out of the deepest part of the park, doubling off the top of the centerfield wall. With runners on second and third with no outs, fittingly Bama couldn't push either run across, and the game ended with the 13-3 final.
The Tide had 11 hits, drew three walks, struck out eight times, and stranded 11 runners on base. Bama now has 342 runners left on base this season. Reeves, Hawk, and Gentry had two hits apiece for the Tide. State had 17 hits, drew six walks, struck out five times, and stranded 11 runners. Cobb fell to 0-1 with the loss while Cole Gordon was the winning pitcher and improved to 4-0.
What Went Wrong ?
Pretty much everything. The Tide hit .214 (21-98) on the weekend, struck out 31 times, and walked only 10 times. The pitchers allowed 28 earned runs in 24 innings (8.57 ERA.)
Who Did What ?
- Kolby Robinson 4-7, double,
- T.J. Reeves 3-11, two doubles, two runs, walk
- Johnny Hawk- 3-8, home run, RBI, run,
- Tyler Gentry 4-12, two doubles,
What’s Next ?
A trip to Birmingham to play the Birmingham Blazers in Regions Park on Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m., followed by a visit from another top five team, Vanderbilt on the weekend. Friday the game is at 6 p.m, Saturday at 8 p.m., and Sunday at 1 p.m. Saturday can be seen on the SEC Network and the others on the SEC Network Plus.
Bama Baseball Fever, Catch it
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