Late Rally Falls Short For MSU Dogs

ATHENS, Ga. - Mississippi State pounded out 14 hits but failed to collect enough timely hits, as the Bulldogs dropped a 5-3 decision to the Georgia Bulldogs in a Southeastern Conference baseball game Friday night at Foley Field.

No. 25 MSU dropped to 13-7 overall and 2-2 in league play, while third-ranked Georgia improved to 17-2 and 2-2. The Maroon and White clad Bulldogs actually outhit the hosts, 14-7.

Still, in the end, a Foley Field crowd of 3,876 - the second largest regular season crowd in school history - watched UGA remain perfect at 12-0 at home this season.

MSU touched Georgia ace reliever Dean Weaver for his first run allowed this season. Russ Sneed had an RBI-single with one out in the ninth inning. Ryan Duffy followed with an infield hit. However, a strikeout and flyout ended the contest, as MSU stranded 12 base runners, including at least one in all nine at-bats.

MSU grabbed a 1-0 lead in the second inning on an RBI-single by Grant Hogue. Georgia battled back, taking the lead for good with back-to-back two-run innings in the second and third innings.

In the UGA second inning, Matt Cerione started things with a walk and Michael Demperio followed with a double. Levi Hyams drove in Cerione with a base hit, while a fielder's choice hit by Johnathan Taylor plated Demperio. An inning later, Cerione hit a two-run home run to left center.

MSU cut the lead to 4-2 in the sixth inning on the first of back-to-back doubles by Ryan Powers. UGA later chased MSU starter Tyler Whitney in the seventh inning. Bryce Massanari greeted new MSU pitcher Greg Houston with an RBI-single. Houston was able to work out of a tight spot in the seventh inning, giving his squad a last chance to rally.

Whitney (2-1) took the loss after working a season-best 6-1/3 innings, allowing six hits and five runs (all earned), with three walks and six strikeouts. Justin Bussey followed Houston and retired the side in order in the UGA eighth inning.

Winning pitcher Trevor Holder (4-1) allowed eight hits and two runs (both earned), with two walks and six strikeouts. Will Harvil threw two innings before Weaver worked the ninth inning to earn his second save.

Sneed and Duffy each had three hits for MSU. For Sneed, that matches a career-high as it is his third three-hit game of the season. Luke Adkins, Scott DeLoach and Ryan Powers also had multiple hits for MSU.

Georgia received two hits from Joey Lewis.

The series resumes with a 2 p.m. CT start Saturday. MSU is scheduled to start freshman left-hander Nick Routt (2-0, 1.90 ERA), while UGA is scheduled to start junior left-hander Alex McRee (2-0, 0.77). The series finale is set for a 1 p.m. CT start Sunday and will be televised regionally by Comcast Sports Southeast.

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