BATON ROUGE, La. – Mississippi State let another pitching masterpiece go for naught Saturday.
Ross Mitchell threw six innings of five-hit baseball but it was enough for victory as LSU rallied to a 2-1 victory in the middle game of a three-game Southeastern Conference series played before a national television audience at Alex Box Stadium.
“We pitched it really well but didn’t situationally hit well,” MSU head coach John Cohen said. “Of course, LSU didn’t either. Ross pitched a masterpiece and we had every opportunity. They hit some balls hard. We hit some balls hard. They had a few balls get in.”
On the heels of a 3-0 loss Friday, MSU now drops a conference series for the first time this season. Entering Sunday’s 1 p.m. series finale, MSU is 20-12 overall and 6-5 in league play, while LSU is 23-8-1 and 5-5-1.
The Bulldogs struck first in the fourth inning when Brett Pirtle drew a one-out walk, advanced to second on a wild pitch and later scored on an RBI-single by Demarcus Henderson.
Things stayed that way until the sixth inning.
Mark Laird started things for LSU with a one-out single. Mitchell then fielded a potential inning-ending double-play but had the ball slip from his glove before making the throw. After the error, Kade Scivicque followed with an RBI-single. A sacrifice fly by Chris Chinea gave the Tigers the lead for good.
“Ross is one of our best defensive players,” Cohen said. “It was a routine play and the ball simply slips out of his glove. We very easily could be out of that inning at 1-0.”
Instead, Mitchell (5-2) was tagged with his first loss as a starter. Jacob Lindgren threw the final two innings, allowing no hits the rest of the way.
LSU starter Jared Poche’ (6-2) threw 108 pitches in six innings of work to garner the win. Two other relievers followed before Joe Broussard worked the final two innings, facing only seven batters, to earn his seventh save.
Scivicque was the lone multiple hitter for each team. MSU finished with four hits.
“Life on the road can be hard,” Cohen said. “We had some things go against us. You have to make your own breaks sometimes and we haven’t been able to do that. We have pitched it well and defended it well against a very good LSU ballclub.”
The series finale will be televised by Cox Sports and will also be available on ESPN3.