STARKVILLE, Miss. (WLBT) - For just the fifth time in 2019, the No. 5 Mississippi State baseball program dropped a game at home, falling to South Carolina, 10-8, at Dudy Noble Field on Saturday (May 18) afternoon. The Diamond Dawgs did earn a share of the Southeastern Conference West Division title on the final day of the regular season, finishing tied atop the division standings with Arkansas.
South Carolina (28-27, 8-22 SEC) grabbed an early 1-0 lead with a first-inning solo home run, before Mississippi State (45-11, 20-10 SEC) knotted the score on a home run by sophomore Justin Foscue in the fourth. The Gamecocks scored three runs in the fifth to recapture the lead, before the two teams would each tally six runs over the next two innings. MSU scored a run in the ninth to account for the 10-8 margin.
State ends the regular season with 45 overall wins, which are the second-most regular-season wins in program history. The 1989 squad won 49 regular season games, winning 45 games before going to the SEC Tournament, and winning four more games between the SEC Tournament and the NCAA South Regional.
The 30 home wins are tied for the most in a regular season home victories with the 2013 squad.
Sophomore Tanner Allen continued to see the ball well at the plate, going 3-for-5 with two RBIs. Foscue hit his 14th home run of the season as part of a two-hit day, while senior Marshall Gilbert chipped in three hits, scored one run and drove in a pair of RBIs.
Head Coach Chris Lemonis
On seeing the team fight back
“I felt they would [fight back]. Coming in today they were short in the bullpen in the [South Carolina] dugout…I thought we had a chance to get [to the starter] early, but we did not, and he settled in. I knew if we could get to their bullpen, we could put some runs up, but we were not able to do it. Our guys won’t quit, that’s Mississippi State baseball. It’s a culture, it’s a mindset. They are going to play hard till the very end.”
Tanner Allen – Posted his third multi-hit game of the weekend with a 3-for-5 day at the plate. Drove in two runs.
Marshall Gilbert – Drove in two runs, scored once and went 3-for-5 at the plate.
Justin Foscue – Hit his 14th home run of the season as part of a 2-for-4 day at the plate. Also drew a walk.
Unearned Runs – Four of the 10 runs allowed by MSU were of the unearned variety.
Brett Kerry – Allowed two runs over 6 1/3 innings of a start to earn the win. Struck out four.
Parker Coyne – Posted his first save of the season with 1 2/3 innings of work. Recorded his final three outs via strikeout.
Andrew Eyster – Totaled three hits, scored three runs and drove in three RBIs. Two of his three hits were home runs.
Luke Berryhill – Drove in four RBIs on two hits, including a three-run home run.
With two outs in the frame, Andrew Eyster opened the scoring with a solo home run to left field against MSU starting pitcher Peyton Plumlee.
South Carolina 1, Mississippi State 0
Justin Foscue tied the game with a solo home run to lead off the inning.
Mississippi State 1, South Carolina 1
Brady Allen started the inning with a double and came around to score on a George Callil single. Callil moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, before a ground out pushed him to third with two outs. TJ Hopkins pushed the second run across with a base hit, before Luke Berryhill capped the scoring with an RBI base hit.
South Carolina 4, Mississippi State 1
An error started the inning, before a pair of outs followed, putting a runner at second with two outs. Four-straight Gamecock batters reached base with those two to score four unearned runs against two Bulldog pitchers. Berryhill hit a three-run home run, while Wes Clarke plated a run with a double.
South Carolina 8, Mississippi State 1
State got a pair of runs back thanks to three hits in the frame. Marshall Gilbert started the inning with a single through the left side, moved to second on a wild pitch and came in to score on a Jake Mangum single. Jordan Westburg then reached on a fielder’s choice and moved to second on a wild pitch, before Tanner Allen doubled to push him across the plate.
South Carolina 8, Mississippi State 3
MSU reliever Cole Gordon retired the first two batters in the frame, before a walk to Hopkins. Eyster followed with his second home run – a two-run shot – to straight-away center field.
South Carolina 10, Mississippi State 3
State pulled closer with four runs on five hits against a pair of Gamecock relievers. Dustin Skelton and Rowdey Jordan singled to start the inning, before Luke Hancock worked a one-out walk to load the bases. Gilbert followed with a two-RBI base hit, and back-to-back RBI singles from Westburg and Allen with two outs capped the scoring.
South Carolina 10, Mississippi State 7
After the first two batters struck out, Landon Jordan worked a walk and moved to second on a wild pitch. Hancock followed with an RBI single up the middle, before the final out was recorded via strikeout.
South Carolina 10, Mississippi State 8
Mississippi State will head to Hoover, Alabama for the Southeastern Conference Tournament. The fourth-seeded Diamond Dawgs will kick off their stay at the conference tournament in the final game of the day on Wednesday, May 22, facing the winner of the LSU/South Carolina game on Tuesday (May 21).