The No. 2 Texas Tech baseball team suffered a 6-3 loss to No. 13 Mississippi State in Biloxi, Mississippi to open the two-game midweek series on Tuesday.
With the loss, the Red Raiders’ 12-game winning streak came to an end, giving Tech its second loss of the season. Tech now posts a 16-2 overall record while going 3-2 at neutral sites this season.
Eight consecutive Red Raiders were retired and sophomore right fielder Max Marusak ended the streak with a single up the middle in the third inning. Marusak then stole second and was sent home by sophomore left fielder Dru Baker as Mississippi State’s shortstop made a throwing error to first base, giving Tech an early 1-0 lead.
After four runless innings, Mississippi State got itself on the scoreboard, taking the lead in the fifth inning. The Bulldogs loaded the bases with no outs as sophomore LHP Mason Montgomery gave up a single and walked two batters. Senior RHP John McMillon was then sent to the mound in hopes of preventing any further damage.
McMillon struck his first batter out swinging but gave up a single to Josh Hatcher which scored Brad Cumbest to tie the game 1-1. A bases-loaded walk and a sac fly to center field scored Brandon Pimentel and Rowdey Jordan to give the Bulldogs a 3-1 lead going into the sixth inning.
With the three runs being scored while McMillon was at the mound, all three were counted on Montgomery's statline. Along with his three earned runs given up, the sophomore pitcher ended the night with five strikeouts, giving up four hits and two walks as well.
In the sixth inning, the Red Raiders cut Mississippi State’s lead by one run after a bases-loaded walk scored Baker, cutting the Bulldogs’ lead 3-2. The Bulldogs quickly responded in the bottom of the inning as Pimentel recorded an RBI single to right-center to score Landon Jordan to grow their lead 4-2. With Rowden Jordan reaching first on a fielder’s choice hit, Jordan Westburg doubled to right-center to score his teammate. The run gave Mississippi State a 5-2 lead after six innings of play.
Mississippi State’s pitching was dominant in the seventh inning, striking out the side to prevent Tech from cutting its lead. Justin Foscue backed the pitching with a double to open the bottom of the inning. He then advanced to third base on a groundout and was sent home by Logan Tanner who recorded an RBI single to right field, growing the Mississippi State lead 6-2.
Trying to answer back in the eighth inning, Baker drew a walk to open the inning. He moved to second base on a wild pitch, and a single through the right side by sophomore first baseman Cole Stilwell sent Baker home to chip away at the Bulldogs’ lead 6-3.
Despite the run in the eighth, the Red Raiders’ efforts were not enough to top the Bulldogs in the ranked matchup, as they suffered a 6-3 defeat.
The Red Raiders will look to bounce back from the loss as they will conclude the midweek series against the Bulldogs at 5 p.m. on Wednesday.