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Mississippi State baseball falls to Tennessee in SEC Tournament quarterfinals

Photo courtesy of MSU Athletics

The Mississippi State baseball team’s run in the SEC Tournament came to an end against top-seeded Tennessee in Friday’s quarterfinals.

Pico Kohn drew the start on the mound for the five-seeded Bulldogs, giving up two runs over 3.1 innings. Tyson Hardin came out of the bullpen and allowed one run before settling in. With Mississippi State at the plate in the bottom of the fifth, David Mershon drew a bases-loaded walk to get the Bulldogs on the board, 3-1.

The very next at-bat, Connor Husjak came up to the plate with the bases still loaded. Husjak’s heroics had fueled Mississippi State’s conference tournament run up to this point, including a walk-off home run against Ole Miss in round one and then a go-ahead two-RBI single to lift the Bulldogs over Texas A&M in round two. In his third chance at heroics, Husjak didn’t miss.

After Husjak tied the game, Ferriss Trophy winner Dakota Jordan singled to left, scoring David Mershon and Husjak to make it a 5-3 ballgame in Mississippi State’s favor.

Unfortunately, for Chris Lemonis’ squad, it did not take long for the top SEC team to storm back. In the top of the seventh, with the bases loaded, Cannon Peebles’ RBI fielder’s choice scored Hunter Ensley from third before Bulldog second baseman Amani Larry tried to double up Peebles and sailed a throw into the netting over Tennessee’s dugout. The error allowed Dean Curley to score on the play, as well, and tie the game at five.

Mississippi State was then on the wrong side of heroics this time around when Tennessee’s Blake Burke launched one over the right-center fence to make it a 6-5 game in the top of the eighth. That score would stick as the Bulldog offense couldn’t create any production over the next two innings.

While Tennessee is staying in Hoover and will play eight-seed Vanderbilt in Saturday’s semifinals, Mississippi State will await Monday’s selection show of hosting a regional still alive. The full NCAA Tournament field will be revealed at 11 a.m. CT on ESPN2.

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