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Slow Start Dooms Mississippi State In 10-5 Series Finale Loss to Alabama



By Doug Kyle


Saturday's game between Mississippi State and Alabama saw several key players missing from the Crimson Tide lineup due to an undisclosed illness, with another calling in sick from left field during the 8-1 Bulldogs win.


Sunday afternoon, it was the Bulldogs who looked sluggish and under the weather, with Alabama grabbing four runs in the second inning, chasing starter Brooks Auger, whose early exit was unusual for both him and the State pitching staff, Head Coach Chris Lemonis noted in post-game comments.


After the Bulldogs responded with one in the bottom of the inning on Logan Kohler's home run (cut to solo when Connor Hujsak was picked off just prior), the Tide roughed up Auger's successor, Cole Cheatham, touching him for three more runs, and added another off Luke Dotson to take an 8-1 lead before the home team could score again.


It just wasn't a good day for the Bulldogs, making two errors that dented their top 5 fielding percentage, and even the weather wasn't kind, forcing a delay in the bottom of the 8th of approximately 35 minutes, after start time had been moved up an hour to try avoiding just that. Fortunately, the precipitation was minimal, only the pitching mound was covered, and once given the all-clear, the teams resumed with a minimum of time needed.


There were a few bright spots. Despite his base running issue, Hujsak was 3-3 with a home run and pair of RBIs, Logan Kohler continued his upward trend in hitting with 2-4, both home runs, and both Bryce Chance and Dakota Jordan had a pair of hits. But, the 8-1 hole proved too much to overcome, especially as Alabama continued to add more runs of its own.


The Bulldogs have the week off for final exams and play next in a weekend series at Arkansas, who was beaten two out of three at Kentucky. They're scheduled to host North Alabama May 14 and Missouri May 16-18, in the final SEC series of the regular season, Thursday-Saturday leading up to the SEC Tournament May 21-26.


State drops to 14-10 SEC, 32-16 overall. Alabama improves to 10-14 SEC, 29-18 overall.


Here are post-game comments from Lemonis:





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