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#21 Mississippi State Drops Close 4-3 Decision At SLU

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Rookie Phillip Casey went 2-for-3 with his first career homer, two runs and two RBI.
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HAMMOND, La. - Tuesday night saw another heart-breaking defeat for the injury-plagued Mississippi State baseball team. The 21st-ranked Diamond Dawgs got some solid contributions from several newcomers but it was not enough to prevent a 4-3 defeat to Southeastern Louisiana at Alumni Field.

Playing its first road game of the season, the Bulldogs fell to 14-4, while Southeastern Louisiana improved to 12-5. Three of MSU's four losses have been by a single run.

The teams will complete their two-game midweek series with a 6 p.m. start Wednesday. That contest will be a statewide radio broadcast on the Bulldog Sports Network.

The Bulldogs struck first with two runs in the second inning on Phillip Casey's first collegiate home run. A true freshman from Sugar Land, Tex., Casey was lifted from the red-shirt list and made his MSU debut at third base in Sunday's win over Mercer.

Tyler Fullerton was also pressed into duty Tuesday night. A Murfreesboro, Tenn., native, Fullerton took the place of the injured Taylor Stark in the Bulldog lineup. Fullerton was called away from his spring break trip Monday and placed on the road to Hammond to meet the ballclub. Making his first start in left field, Fullerton had a hit in his collegiate debut.

Still, the Bulldogs could not build on their early 2-0 lead. Down 3-2 in the fifth inning, it appeared MSU was in good shape to take the lead after the first two batters reached base. However, the atypical triple play snuffed that scoring threat.

MSU would not score again until a mini-rally in the ninth inning saw the Bulldogs plate a run and strand the potential game-tying run at first base.

The Bulldogs finished with nine hits but made two errors. Casey and Wes Rea each had multiple hits, with both of Rea's hits being doubles. Reigning Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week Demarcus Henderson ran his hit streak to nine games with a third-inning double.

Andro Cutura (1-1) pitched five innings to garner the win. Cutura allowed six hits and two runs (both earned), with three strikeouts. Jason Greenleaf threw three innings of scoreless middle relief, while Stefan Lopez threw the ninth inning for his sixth save.

The Bulldogs threw six pitchers with freshman right-hander Tanner Gaines making his first collegiate start. Andrew Busby and C.C. Watson each made their season debuts in relief. Chad Girodo (0-1) took the loss.



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