LUBBOCK, Texas – The No. 3 Texas Tech baseball team came up short in a top-10 showdown with No. 9 Mississippi State on Saturday, suffering a 4-2 loss on a cold, wet evening at Dr Pepper Ballpark.
The Red Raiders (6-3) were limited to just three hits in the contest as they move to 0-2 at the Frisco College Classic. The Bulldogs (10-1) put up runs in the second, fourth, fifth and eighth to take the victory and move to 2-0 on the weekend.
Sophomores Gabe Holt and Dylan Neuse were the only two Red Raiders with hits on the day as Mississippi State starter JT Ginn (3-0) went 7.0 innings strong with two runs on three hits, eight strikeouts and a walk. Bulldog relievers Colby White and Cole Gordon combined for four strikeouts over the final two frames to secure the win for MSU.
“(Ginn) has good mound presence,” head coach Tim Tadlock said. “Tonight, he must have had good, tight spin on his slider. Obviously he has enough fastball, but the slider spin must be really tight, because we see what he has all the time – there is a stockpile of them down in our bullpen that have the same type of arm strength, but maybe the slider spin isn’t the same. He’s a really good looking young pitcher.”
Holt finished 2-for-4 on the day, scoring a run and matching his career-high with three stolen bases. In the sixth, he helped the Red Raiders trim a Mississippi State two-run lead to one after a base hit, wild pitch and stolen base put him on third for junior Josh Jung, who drove him in with a fielder’s choice in the infield.
Neuse would go 1-for-3 on the day and used his aggression on the base paths to score Tech’s first run of the game in the second. He connected on a one-out single, stole second and forced a balk that put him at third, before reading a pitch in the dirt to score on a wild pitch that tied the game at one.
The two sides traded runs in the second frame with MSU getting on the board thanks to a single and a pair of Tech miscues in the infield to go up 1-0. Tech answered with Neuse’s run, but the Bulldogs regained the lead in the fourth when a two-out hit-and-run drove in a runner from first.
The Bulldogs extended it to 3-1 in the fifth as back-to-back walks to open the frame and a third Red Raider error in the contest brought a runner home. MSU added an insurance run in the eighth with a sacrifice fly.
Junior right-hander Caleb Kilian (0-2) received the loss after giving up two runs, one earned, on four hits with three strikeouts and a walk in 3.2 innings. Tech used a season-high seven pitchers in the contest.
“I was thrilled (Kilian) got to start, because we didn’t want to have to move him to Tuesday or Wednesday,” Tadlock said of his starter. “He had the flu in the middle of the week and started feeling a lot better yesterday. I was thrilled that he got to go out there and take his normal turn and got to throw around 60 pitches. And there’s a lot of positives in our bullpen. Micah Dallas is going to be fun to watch.”
The Red Raiders close play at the Frisco College Classic on Sunday against Sam Houston State. First pitch is slated for 3 p.m. on FloLive.tv ($) and can be heard on the Texas Tech Sports Network.