Mississippi State downs Bears, 4-2, in baseball
STARKVILLE, Miss. — Third-ranked and undefeated Mississippi State defeated the University of Central Arkansas, 4-2, Friday night in the opening of a three-game series Dudy Noble Field.
UCA’s two losses this season have both been to Top 5 Southeastern Conference teams. Then-No. 2 Vanderbilt beat the Bears 10-2 last month in Nashville.
Michael Marietta hit his first home run of the season off MSU closer Jonathan Holder with two outs in the ninth, just UCA’s fourth hit of the game against a combination of seven Bulldog pitchers. Forrestt Allday, the leading hitter in the Southland Conference, led off the game with a single and finished 2 for 4 for the Bears (12-2).
The Bears, who saw their nine-game winning streak come to an end, got a single run in the eighth when Nick Rougeau’s groundout scored Garrett Brown, who had doubled to left field to lead off the inning. But the Bulldogs (17-0) got out of the inning and Holder nailed down his sixth save after giving up the home run in the ninth.
UCA used six pitchers, with starter Caleb McClanahan picking up his first loss of the season to fall to 3-1. The senior from Wynne went 4.2 innings, allowing three hits and two runs. MSU starter Jacob Lindgren was hit by a line drive in the first inning and left after one out. Myles Genty came on and threw 4.1 innings of scoreless relief before giving way to five more pitchers.
Game 2 of the series is set for 2 p.m. Saturday.