(Photo Courtesy of Mississippi State Athletics)
In the words of the great Waylon Jennings as the balladeer on The Dukes of Hazard, “Have you ever had one of those days when you couldn’t even hit the ground with your hat?” The Bulldogs had one of those days today as they dropped game 2 of the weekend series to the Golden Flashes of Kent State by a final score of 9-5. What many had hoped to be a wonderful spring day of baseball at The Dude was quickly soured by the shaky pitching and inconsistent hitting that has plagued the Bulldogs throughout the young season. Though I don’t believe it’s time to panic, there are glaring issues with this ballclub that must be addressed if the Bulldogs want to compete in the always lethal SEC. Luckily, the staff in Starkville has already shown their ability to address problem areas, and I have faith that that will continue.
Righty Eric Cerantola (0-1) drew the start for Mississippi State but only lasted 3 innings, giving up 4 runs. The Oakville, Ontario native struck out 4 but also issued 4 walks.
The day went south early for the Boys in Maroon as Kent State took the lead in the top of the 2nd as Justin Mikinis drew a walk, Justin Kirby singled, and Mack Timbrook was hit by pitch to load the bases. Michael McNamara then singled to short to plate Mikinis. Cam Touchette then drew a bases loaded walk that plated Kirby and put the Golden Flashes up 2-0. The Bulldogs got a run back in the bottom of the 3rd when Kamren James doubled and was advanced to 3rd on a Landon Jordan sacrifice bunt. Rowdey Jordan then singled to right to plate James to make the score 2-1. The close score was not long lived as Kent State tacked on 2 more runs in the top of the 4th when Colin Mathews led off the inning with a homerun. Kevin Dobos then singled and stole 2nd. Michael McNamara then drew a walk and Cam Touchette singled to load the bases. Ben Carew then singled to plate Dobos and make it a 4-1 ballgame. Kent State stayed hot in the top of the 5th as Mack Timbrook singled and Colin Mathews doubled. Michael McNamara then doubled to plate both runners and make it 6-1. Ben Carew then singled to score McNamara and make the score 7-1. The Bulldogs got one back in the bottom of the 8th when Scotty Dubrule doubled and then advanced to 3rd on a wild pitch. A Tanner Allen groundout then scored Dubrule to make it a 7-2 ballgame. The Golden Flashes added 2 more runs in the top of the 9th for good measure. Mack Timbrook singled and Kevin Dobros followed with a base-hit of his own. Both runners were plated on an error on a Michael McNamara fielder’s choice to make the score 9-2. The Diamond Dawgs attempted a 9th inning comeback as Kamren James singled followed by a Tanner Leggett single. Kyte McDonald then provided a pinch-hit double to plate both runners and make the score 9-4. Scotty Dubrule then scored McDonald on a single to make it 9-5, but that’s where the comeback would end as the Golden Flashes held on to send the maroon faithful home unhappy and drop the Bulldogs to a record of 7-3. Kent State improved to 4-3 on the campaign.
The Diamond Dawgs sent a platoon of arms to the mound today to try to cool off the Kent State bats, which were hotter than a fire ant on a sunburn. Starter Eric Cerantola worked a 1-2-3 first inning, and it looked like maybe he had gotten his control issues in check. The control issues returned in the 2nd and the big righty battled through the 3rd before being replaced by Stone Simmons who didn’t have much better luck slowing down the Kent State offense, allowing 3 runs. A mixture of Davis Rokose, Chase Patrick, KC Hunt, and Dylan Carmouche combined to hold the Golden Flashes scoreless through the 8th before Riley Self came in in the 9th and gave up 2 runs, only 1 of which was earned.
At the plate, Luke Hancock walked twice, extending his on-base streak to 11 games, and Tanner Allen extended his hitting streak to 7 games. Kamren James and Scotty Dubrule both provided 2-hit games. Dubrule also provided an RBI. Kyte McDonald saw his first action in the M Over S and contributed a double and 2 RBIs.
Luke Albright (2-1) took the win for Kent State.
The Bulldogs return to The Carnegie Hall of College Baseball tomorrow at noon CT for the rubber match of the series. Freshman Jackson Fristoe is slated to take the bump for the M Over S.
Recap and Box Score can be found here