OMAHA, Neb. – The Mississippi State baseball team may be down but is certainly not out.
MSU suffered its first loss in the 2018 College World Series, falling 12-2 to No. 3 national seed Oregon State Friday afternoon at TD Ameritrade Park.
It was the Bulldogs’ first loss in Omaha after the program’s third 2-0 start in the event.
MSU (39-28) will face Oregon State (52-11-1) again Saturday with the winner advancing to the CWS Championship Series, which starts Monday. Game time will either be at 2 p.m. or 7 p.m. and will be confirmed after Friday’s late game between Florida and Arkansas. ESPN will have the broadcast.
The Bulldogs have won five straight elimination games in the postseason this season and are looking for a return trip to the finals since the 2013 tournament.
MSU actually built the early 1-0 lead Friday but was undone by a five-run second inning from Oregon State. The Beavers became the second CWS team to score 10 or more runs in three straight tournament games.
OSU’s pitching duo of Bryce Fehmel and Brandon Eisert (5-3) combined to hold MSU to five hits—the lowest total for hits in a game by the Bulldogs since four hits were used to beat Florida State in the Tallahassee Regional.
The 1-0 lead was built when Jake Mangum reached as a hit batsman and later scored on a Hunter Stovall double.
The Beavers tied the contest in their half of the first inning before using four hits to score five runs in the second inning.
In the third inning, Stovall connected for an RBI-single which scored Jordan Westburg, who also reached as a hit batsman. The Bulldogs stranded two runners in the third inning and could not cash in on a leadoff double by Justin Foscue in the fourth inning.
The MSU bullpen kept the squad in contention before Oregon State erupted for four runs in the seventh inning.
Jacob Billingsley (5-4) drew the start but was lifted with one out in the second inning. Billingsley allowed five hits and six runs (all earned), with two walks. Keegan James threw the next 3.2 innings, before giving way to Denver McQuary and then Blake Smith.
Overall, MSU pitching walked nine batters and hit two more.
Oregon State collected 15 hits. Trevor Larnach and Nick Madrigal each had three hits for the Beavers.
Stovall finished with two of MSU’s five hits.
NEXT UP FOR MSU
The Diamond Dawgs are looking to continue their run in Omaha with a Saturday elimination game against Oregon State. Game time has not yet been confirmed, but will be at either 2 p.m. or 7 p.m. on ESPN depending on the outcome of Friday’s late game.