Dogs Drop Tight 6-5 Decision To Jaguars

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State's Tyler Moore hit a pair of home runs but it was not enough as the Bulldogs fell to South Alabama 6-5 in college baseball action Tuesday night at Dudy Noble Field.

The Bulldogs left the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning, falling in the opener of a seven-game homestand. MSU is now 9-13 on the season, while Sun Belt Conference member South Alabama is now 13-10.

USA scored two runs in both the first and third innings. The Bulldogs rallied with three runs in the home half of the fourth inning. USA plated a pair of insurance scores in the sixth inning, before MSU answered with just single scores in the sixth and ninth innings.

For Moore, a junior college transfer from Meridian, his home runs were his third and fourth of the season. It was the first four-RBI game for the MSU first baseman.

Overall, the Bulldogs continued their recent offensive struggles with men on base. MSU hit into four double plays Tuesday night, after hitting into eight double plays in a weekend Southeastern Conference series loss at South Carolina.

In the MSU fourth inning, Cody Freeman and Connor Powers drew back-to-back walks. After a fly out, Moore hit a towering three-run shot to left field.

The Bulldogs plated another run in the sixth inning when Powers scored on a double play groundball.

In the MSU ninth inning, Moore hit a one-out home run - another massive shot over the left field fence. Jet Butler then drew a walk. Grant Hogue into a fielder's choice, forcing pinch runner Mark Goforth. Ryan Collins singled through the left side of the infield. Jason Nappi drew a four-pitch walk to load the bases. Cody Freeman then popped up to end the game.

MSU finshed with 10 hits. Powers, Moore and Butler each had multiple hits.

USA finished with nine hits. Ryne Jernigan, Ryan Bohanan and Jake Overstreet each had multiple hits for the Jaguars.

Chris LaGrow (1-0) pitched the first three innings to pick up the win. LaGrow allowed two hits and no runs, with three strikeouts and one walk. Miles Ethridge, Travis Johnson and Greg Johnson followed for the Jaguars. Greg Johnson worked the final 1-2/3 innings to earn his fifth save.

Greg Houston (0-1) took the loss. Houston pitched 2-1/3 innings, allowing five hits and four runs (all earned), with one walk and one strikeout. Tyler Whitney worked 2-2/3 innings of scoreless relief. Jared Koon was touched for the two-run sixth inning. Andy Wilson and Chad Crosswhite combined to finish the contest, with 3-1/3 innings of scoreless relief.

MSU and USA complete their two-game midweek series with a 6:30 p.m. start Wednesday.

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