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OU overpowers Mississippi State in Tallahassee

Photo courtesy of Kelly Donoho/MSU Athletics
Photo courtesy of Kelly Donoho/MSU Athletics

The Mississippi State Bulldogs now face an uphill battle after dropping today’s game with the Oklahoma Sooners 20-10 in an offensive showdown in their first game of the NCAA Tournament.

In what was a back and forth game early, Mississippi State was eventually overpowered by the Oklahoma offense in their first game in the Tallahassee Regional. After falling behind 5-0, MSU clawed their way back into the game and tied it at 5-5 in the 3rd inning and built a 10-7 lead by the 6th inning, but the next frame would be a backbreaker for MSU.

Oklahoma would send 14 batters to the plate and would bring 9 runs home to take a commanding lead. After the Bulldog bats belted four home runs early on, they ran out of gas and couldn’t rally to close the gap. Oklahoma would also add 4 runs in the 9th, and brought their total to 22 hits in the contest.

On the mound, MSU starter Konnor Pilkington was taken out after allowing 5 runs in 3.1 innings. The bullpen had a blank slate to work with at 5-5, but seven pitchers came out of the bullpen, and none of them had an answer for the Sooners. Seven Oklahoma batters had multiple base hits and drove in at least one run.

For MSU, the offense was the bright spot of the game as they got a 4-RBI performance out of Dustin Skelton, and home runs from Elijah MacNamee, Tanner Allen, Rowdey Jordan and Skelton.

Obviously, better pitching will be needed moving forward, but offensive confidence could go a long way as MSU must now fight their way out of elimination. The Bulldogs slide into the elimination bracket at the four-team, double-elimination event, and they’ll face the loser of the FSU/Samford matchup tomorrow at 11 a.m.

MSU will now need four wins to capture a regional tournament title for a third straight season.

Remaining Regional Schedule (All times CT)

Friday, June 1, 2018
G1 – No. 3 Oklahoma 20, No. 2 Mississippi State 10
G2 – 6 p.m. – No. 1 Florida State vs. No. 4 Samford (ESPNU)

Saturday, June 2, 2018
G3 – 11 a.m. – Mississippi State vs. Loser of G2
G4 – 4 p.m. – Oklahoma vs. Winner of G2

Sunday, June 3, 2018
G5 – 11 a.m. – Winner of G3 vs. Loser of G4
G6 – 5 p.m. – Winner of G4 vs. Winner of G5

Monday, June 4, 2018
* G7 – Noon – If Necessary

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