In what’s maybe the most disturbing loss of the season, the Tigers fell in game two to Mississippi State 9-4 Saturday night at Alex Box Stadium.
Saturday was set up perfectly for LSU to take the series from an awful Bulldog team. Ty Floyd had one of his best outings of the season pitching six innings where he only allowed one run, surrendered five hits, and struck out 10. Floyd walked off the mound with a 2-1 lead in hand and a fully loaded bullpen set to close this game out.
But that wouldn’t be the case as the pen had maybe its worst outing of the season. Nate Ackenhausen came on in the seventh and immediately surrendered the lead by way of a homer to Luke Hancock. He would flirt with even more danger as he had runners on second and third with one out, but was able to dodge the bullet with a pair of strikeouts.
Thatcher Hurd came on in the eighth and was awful. Hurd gave up a leadoff double to Dakota Jordan and then Kellum Clark took Hurd deep to left center field for a two-run homer to tie the game at 4.
Hurd struck out Bryce Chance, but Chance was able to reach first because of the third strike was a wild pitch. Hurd then walked Hancock, gave up a run-scoring base hit to Slate Alford and was yanked after that. Hurd was charged with the loss and I recommend you keep his stat line out of the reach of small children: five batters faced, zero outs recorded, three hits, five runs—all earned—and a walk.
Riley Cooper came on in relief for Hurd and wasn’t much better. Cooper was able to retire the first two batters he faced, but Colton Ledbetter took Cooper deep with a three run shot to right to blow the game open. By the time the third out was recorded, Mississippi State scored six runs off of four hits and turned a 4-2 deficit into an 8-4 advantage. The Bulldogs would score an insurance run in the ninth to extend their lead to 9-4.
In three innings the Tiger bullpen allowed eight runs, nine hits, and all three relievers got taken deep. Considering who LSU played tonight, a Mississippi State team that’s 7-19 in SEC play, it’s the worst loss of the season for the Tigers.
LSU and State will play the rubber match tomorrow at 1:00. At the time of this writing LSU has yet to name a starter for Sunday’s game.