Auburn baseball falls in series opener to Mississippi State

Auburn baseball opened the second half of the SEC slate on a sour note by dropping game one of its series to Mississippi State.

Auburn took an early 1-0 lead in the 3rd inning. However, the Bulldogs rattled off eight unanswered runs to claim game one of the series, 8-1 on Friday night at Dudy Noble Field in Starkville.

Auburn’s pitching woes continued Friday as five pitchers combined to allow eight runs on 10 hits with eight walks and four strikeouts. Head coach Butch Thompson was not pleased with his pitching staff’s performance, and wants to see more out of the Tigers’ offense to make up for pitching issues.

“We have to bring some offense on the road, especially with where we’re at pitching wise,” Thompson said postgame. “We saw a real No. 1 tonight in (Khal) Stephen but still had a chance. We had the bases loaded twice, and when he was able to get us out of the bases-loaded jams, that was huge. He made a couple of big pitches in the moment that held up for him tonight.”

Auburn took a 1-0 lead in the 3rd inning on a passed ball that allowed Cale Stricklin to score, but the lead was short-lived as Mississippi State tied the game in the bottom frame on a sacrifice fly.

Bryce Chance gave Mississippi State the lead in the 4th inning on a solo home run while an error and fielders choice allowed the Bulldogs to add two more runs in the 5th and 6th innings. The daggers were delivered in the 7th inning as a pair of doubles by Connor Hujsak and Logan Kohler secured the win for Mississippi State.

Stricklin led Auburn in hits with three. Starting pitcher Dylan Watts took the loss by allowing two runs on five hits while walking one and striking out one in four innings of work.

Game two of the series between Auburn and Mississippi State is scheduled for 5 p.m. CT on Saturday. Tanner Bauman will square off with Jurrangelo Cijntje in front of a national audience on SEC Network.

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Story originally appeared on Auburn Wire