Baseball Bulldogs Fall To Memphis, 7-6

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Wes Rea was 2-for-4 with a two-run homer.
Photo Courtesy of Bill Simmonds

STARKVILLE, Miss. - A catcher's interference call in the top half of the ninth inning did in the Mississippi State baseball team as the Bulldogs dropped a 7-6 college baseball decision to the University of Memphis Wednesday night at rain-soaked Dudy Noble Field.

The start of the contest was delayed 2 hours, 48 minutes by rain. Eventually baseball was played and fans saw a strong pitching performance from Chase Joiner of Memphis. In his first collegiate start, Joiner threw a career-best seven innings, allowing six hits and two runs (both earned), with a career-high eight strikeouts.

The Maroon and White rallied from down 6-2 with four scores off the Memphis bullpen in the home half of the eighth inning. After a leadoff out, Mitch Slauter reached as a hit batsman and Trey Porter drew a walk. Daryl Norris followed with a two-run double. Wes Rea then slapped a massive fly ball over the left field walk for a game-tying two-run home run - his first as a Bulldog.

MSU (6-2) continued to threaten as Brandon Woodruff reached as a hit batsman, took second on a wild pitch and then third on a single by Taylor Stark. However, a strikeout and flyout ended that threat.

Memphis (4-4) greeted MSU closer Caleb Reed with a walk and double by Eli Hynes to start the ninth inning. After a strikeout, a ground ball got the Bulldogs to two outs in the inning. A walk to T.J. Rich re-loaded the bases. With Ford Wilson batting, catcher Slauter was called for interference bringing home the eventual game-winning run.

In the home half of the ninth inning, Porter ripped a two-out single but pinch runner Demarcus Henderson was stranded at second base.

The Bulldogs built a 1-0 lead in the first inning but later fell behind after a three-run third by Memphis. An RBI-single by Woodruff brought the hosts within 3-2, before Memphis built the lead with two runs in the fifth inning and a single score in the seventh inning.

While snapping a five-game losing streak in the series, the Tigers pounded out 13 hits, led by a four-hit night from Jacob Wilson also drew a walk and had four RBIs. Ethan Gross, Hynes, Derrick Thomas and Wilson added multiple hits.

The Bulldogs pounded out 10 hits. Adam Frazier, Porter, Norris and Rea each had multiple hits for MSU.

The final of six MSU pitchers, Reed (0-2) worked only the ninth inning and took the loss. Jonathan Van Eaton (1-0) threw the final 1.2 innings to earn the win for the Tigers.

MSU hosts Connecticut at 6:30 p.m. Friday.



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