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State comes up short in opener, losing 6-5

February 20, 2012

Nick Routt pitches for the Bulldogs in the first game of a doubleheader with Washington State Sunday. (Photo by Kim Murrell, SDN)

Mississippi State plated a run in the bottom half of the 13th inning but that wouldn’t be enough to get past the Cougars in game one of the Sunday doubleheader as the Bulldogs dropped the 6-5 decision to Washington State.

MSU starter Nick Routt didn’t have the crisp start coach John Cohen was looking for as he was touched for three runs on six hits in just two innings of work.

“It was clear Nick didn’t have his best stuff,” said Cohen. “A week ago he was 92-94 and blistering people out of the water. (Sunday) with the wind, he just couldn’t get loose. I know Nick Routt will give us some quality starts this season.”

The Cougars struck in the first inning followed by a pair in the second to build the early 3-0 lead. 
Mississippi State answered in the bottom of the second with a Hunter Renfroe double to left center scoring Trey Porter who got things started with a double of his own.

The Cougars went on to add a run in the fourth before the Bulldogs tied the game at 4-4 with a single run in the fifth followed by a pair of runs off a Porter homer to right.

The game remained tied until the top of the 13th when Washington State mounded a two-out rally with a pair of walks and a single by Jason Monda setting the table for Tommy Richards to drive in the pair of winning runs with a single through the left side of the MSU infield. 
Up until that point, Caleb Reed had pitched brilliantly in relief of Evan Mitchell.

Reed pitched 6.1 innings where he allowed just three hits while striking out nine, but he gave up the deciding two runs in his final 2/3 of an inning.

While the game ended in the 13th, it never should have gone that far in the eyes of Cohen.

“I though we played so well and we just had some crazy things happen to us,” Cohen said. “You got a guy in (Mitch) Slauter just bust a line drive in the middle of the field and Daryl (Norris) can’t get out of the way of it. If he does, it’s game over. When that kind of crazy stuff happens, that happens once every 100 games and it happened to us. We got to be better situationally.”

The Bulldogs had the winning run 90 feet from home in the 8th, 9th, and 10th innings but couldn’t get the deciding run to cross the plate.

Mississippi State wouldn’t have been in position to play extra frames had it not been for its first home run of the season in the sixth inning when Porter put a charge into a ball hit to right for a two-run home run tying the game at six.

The Bulldogs plated five runs on 14 hits with six walks and six strikeouts.

Porter, who is batting at a .715 clip through two games, led the way with a 3-for-4 effort. 
State sent five hurlers to the hill with Evan Mitchell going 4.1 allowing one run on two hits while striking out eight.

Chad Girodo saw his first action of the year as he pitched to just one batter and recorded the out Cohen was looking for. Jonathan Holder came on in relief of Reed to get the final out of the 13th and face just one batter.

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