Central Arkansas Claims Midweek Win Over Bulldogs
The Bulldogs fall to 31-21 overall and conclude the non-conference portion of their schedule with an 18-7 mark. MSU must regroup quickly for eighth-ranked Kentucky coming in this weekend for the final Southeastern Conference series of the season.
Central Arkansas improved to 23-26 with the victory.
The Bears scored single runs in the second and fifth innings and that was more than enough for Ethan McKenzie to grab the victory in his first start of the season. McKenzie (1-1) allowed five hits, walked one and struck out four in six innings of work. Bryce Biggerstaff threw the final three innings, facing two past the minimum, for his first save.
The duo combined to shut the Bulldogs out in a non-conference game for the first time since a 1-0 loss to Ole Miss in the final Mayor's Trophy game in Jackson in 2006. The last non-conference shutout at Dudy Noble Field took place in 2004 when Samford posted a 6-0 victory.
MSU managed seven total hits and failed to advance a runner past first base in the contest. Central Arkansas turned two double plays and threw out another Bulldog on a steal attempt.
The second inning run came after a leadoff double from Bryan Willson. After a groundout, a fielder's choice retired Willson at third base. Not deterred, the Bears got a two-out walk for Griffin Claude and an RBI-single by Blake Roberts.
Central Arkansas reached its lead off runner in four straight at-bats and eventually stretched the lead in the fifth inning.
A one-out walk to Forrestt Allday started things. Blake Marchal followed with a single. A groundball out by Ethan Harris brought Allday home with the game's final run.
For MSU, starting pitcher Brandon Woodruff (0-2) threw four innings. Woodruff allowed five hits and one run, with four strikeouts and two walks. Luis Pollorena was touched for the other run in the fifth inning, before giving way to Caleb Reed, Nick Routt and Ben Bracewell. Bulldog pitching allowed eight hits and walked five.
The Bulldogs and Wildcats play at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, 7 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday. The Friday contest will be televised regionally by SportSouth.