Bulldog Pitching Woes Lead to Defeat in Series Finale

(Photo Courtesy of Mississippi State Athletics)

Undoubtedly, the Bayou Voodoo was a little stronger than the Sunday Black Magic in Baton Rouge on Sunday afternoon as the LSU Tigers capitalized on lackluster Bulldog pitching to take game 3 by an 8-3 final. The Bulldogs suffered from a shaky first inning and were never able to find their groove, missing a sweep of the Bayou Bengals. The loss dropped the Bulldogs to 16-4(2-1) and bumped the Tigers to 16-5(1-2).

Eric Cerantola drew the start for the M Over S and was instantly plagued by the control issues that have lingered since the beginning of his Bulldog career. After a great performance against Eastern Michigan last Saturday, Coach Chris Lemonis rewarded him by leaving him in the weekend rotation and removing Jackson Fristoe. That change proved costly as Cerantola went 1.1 innings, giving up 2 runs on 0 hits while walking 2 and hitting 1 batter. He was followed by Chase Patrick, Jackson Fristoe (2-1), Carlisle Koestler, and Parker Stinnett. All but Patrick surrendered at least 1 run, and the Bulldogs were never able to contain the Tiger offense.

The scoring began in the top of the 1st as Tanner Allen was hit by a pitch and stole second. Kamren James laced a single up the middle to put the Bulldogs on top 1-0. LSU would answer right back in the bottom of the 1st, taking advantage of Cerantola’s control issues. Tre’ Morgan drew a leadoff walk, and Brody Drost walked right behind him. Dylan Crews reached on a fielder’s choice that advanced Morgan to 3rd, and he scored on a wild pitch to tie the game. Gavin Dugas then grounded to short to plate Crews and put the Tigers on top 2-1. The Diamond Dawgs would tie the ballgame in the top of the 3rd when Scotty Dubrule doubled and advanced to 3rd on a sacrifice fly before scoring a Tanner Allen sacrifice fly to make knot things up at 2. The Tigers would take the lead for good in the bottom of the 6th when Gavin Dugas homered to deep left to put the Tigers on top 3-2. LSU would add 3 more runs in the bottom of the 7th when Mitchell Sanford singled and was moved around to 3rd before scoring on a Tre’ Morgan double. Brody Drost then deposited a pitch over the wall in right center to make the score 6-2. The Bulldogs would get 1 back in the top of the 8th when Tanner Leggett singled and Rowdey Jordan walked. A Tanner Allen infield single would plate Leggett to make the score 6-3. LSU would finish off the Bulldogs in the bottom of the 8th when Cade Doughty and Drew Biano walked and were both plated by a Jordan Thompson double to make the final score 8-3 and send the Bulldog faithful home with a bad taste in their mouths coming short of the sweep. The shaky start on the mound for the Bulldogs seemed to energize the LSU offense, who had been silent all weekend, and the Tigers seemed to hit everything thrown at them.

Kamren James had the biggest day at the plate, going 3-4 with 1 RBI. Tanner Allen went 1-2 with 2 RBIs. Scotty Dubrule and Tanner Leggett each collected a hit on the day.

The Bulldogs return to The Carnegie Hall of College Baseball on Tuesday and look to bounce back against North Alabama. First pitch is slated for 6:30 pm CT. Then the Boys in Maroon welcome Arkansas to Starkville in, what should be, a very entertaining weekend. First pitch for that series is set for 6:30pm CT Friday.

Recap and Box Score can be found here

I debated whether I would include music after a loss, but I’ve always been able to turn to music in the good times and bad. So, in an ode to 9 consecutive home games on the horizon, here’s a reminder that “There’s no place like home.”

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