HOOVER, Ala. - Mississippi State scored six runs in the ninth inning and the Bulldogs defeated No. 25 Arkansas 9-1 in the first round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament Tuesday at Regions Park.
Ryne Stanek got the start for Arkansas after pitching just one inning last week against Tennessee. He was pulled from that game after he was hit by a line drive upon returning from a back injury.
On the mound in Tuesday's match-up, Stanek walked Hunter Renfroe to begin the second inning, gave up a single to Demarcus Henderson and allowed a three-run home run by Wes Rea that gave Mississippi State the lead.
The sophomore right-hander pitched a total 5 2/3 innings without allowing any additional runs and struck out seven batters, but the Razorbacks were unable to rally to get him off the hook for the loss.
Arkansas cut into the lead in the sixth when Matt Vinson hit a RBI single to score Bo Bigham, but Mississippi State (35-21) put the game far out of reach in the top of the ninth inning.
Brandon Moore came in to relieve Stanek in the sixth and pitched well before leaving the game in the ninth. He gave up one run on three hits in 2 2/3 innings. Barrett Astin replaced Moore and allowed five runs on one hit.
The first pair of runs scored on a passed ball. Then, another pair scored on an error by third baseman Brian Anderson who replaced Matt Reynolds following a series of substitutions after he left the game because of nausea upon being hit by a pitch. The final pair of runs scored on a two-run single by Sam Frost and extended Mississippi State's lead to 9-1.
Chris Oliver recorded the final out in the top half of the inning before the Razorbacks were retired in order by Jonathan Holder to end the game.
Freshman Brandon Woodruff picked up his first win of the season for the Bulldogs. He struck out five batters in five scoreless innings of work.
Arkansas (39-18) will return to the diamond tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. to face Ole Miss in an elimination game.
Mississippi State 9, Arkansas 1
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