STARKVILLE • Around the seventh inning on Sunday, thousands of Mississippi State fans shuffled into Dudy Noble Field after watching the ninth-ranked women’s basketball team lose at the buzzer to Alabama.
When those fans settled into their seats, the 10th-ranked Diamond Dogs were tied 2-2 with Oregon State. But they would soon be treated to a double dose of disappointment.
The Beavers scored four runs in the eighth inning and another in the ninth to salvage the final game of the series, 7-2.
“I was happy with the first two days and today we got beat,” said MSU coach Chris Lemonis. “Oregon State outplayed us in every phase of the game and we got beat. Two out of three is good but when you lose on Sunday, it leaves a bit of a bad taste in your mouth.”
MSU’s lineup struggled all afternoon, going down in order in six of the nine innings and striking out 10 times in 31 plate appearances.
“We’re going to work on our two-strike approach because that’s not who we are,” said MSU right fielder Tanner Allen. “We take that personal and are known as guys that are hard to strikeout. We struck out a little too much and today it got us beat.”
Justin Foscue drove in both runs for Mississippi State (5-1) with a solo homer and an RBI double and had two of the team’s three hits.
Oregon State (3-4) broke the game open in the eighth inning off Bulldog reliever Jared Shemper (0-1). The Beavers collected three singles, a walk and a two-run double in that frame and totaled 10 hits on the day.
“They put a lot of good at bats together, that’s how you win games,” Foscue said.
MSU starting pitcher Eric Cerantola struggled to find the strike zone, only throwing 48 of his 84 pitches for strikes and finishing with five walks, six strikeouts and three wild pitches in five innings of work.
The homestand will continue with a pair of midweek games beginning with Texas Southern on Tuesday at 4 p.m.