Hunter Vansau (Gene Swindoll, Gene's Page)

First-Inning home runs sinks MSU in rubber match against Georgia

ATHENS, Ga. – No. 6 Mississippi State could not recover from a two-run homer in the first inning by Georgia on Sunday afternoon. For a second straight day, the Bulldogs were held to one run as MSU dropped a 4-1 decision to Georgia in the final game of a three-game Southeastern Conference series at Foley Field.

After winning the series opener 9-3 Friday, MSU was beaten 4-1 in back-to-back games. The Maroon and White failed to win their seventh conference series of the season.

Entering the final weekend of conference play, MSU remains in second place in the Western Division at 33-19 overall and 17-10 in league play. Georgia improved to 22-30 and 9-18.

“Today was a frustrating day for us,” head coach Andy Cannizaro said. “Georgia had the big home run in the first inning. (Michael Curry) was the one batter we didn’t want to hurt us and the pitch was mislocated.

“Georgia played us the best defensively that any team has the entire season. We hit a ton of balls hard and didn’t have anything to show for it. When you give up four runs in this league on a Sunday, you need to win the game.”

A two-run home run by Curry in the first inning was the big blow and would be enough for the home team. The homestanding Bulldogs then added two insurance scores in the seventh inning. For a second straight day, the lone MSU tally came in the eighth inning.

Jacob Billingsley (1-2) drew the start but was lifted with one out in the first. Cole Gordon followed with four innings of scoreless relief. Riley Self, Spencer Price, Trysten Barlow and Trey Jolly also pitched with Self and Price being touched for a run apiece.

“I really like where our pitching staff is right now,” Cannizaro said. “I like what we are doing out of the bullpen right now. This is just two atypical days for us offensively.”

Chase Adkins (6-6) threw six innings, allowing five hits and no runs with two strikeouts and two walks. Drew Moody worked UGA out of a tight spot in the eighth inning and threw the ninth inning for his second save.

MSU scored in the eighth inning when Cody Brown walked and Hunter Vansau singled. Elijah MacNamee followed with a sacrifice fly but the Bulldogs got no more. MSU went down in order in the ninth inning.

Vansau finished with three of MSU’s seven hits. Keegan McGovern had two of Georgia’s seven hits.

MSU will now return home to open a four-game homestand for the final stretch of the regular season against Troy on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. CT from Dudy Noble Field. The game will air live on SEC Network+, which is available through and the Watch ESPN app. 

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