Razorbacks rally falls short in 8-5 loss to Mississippi State

A rally attempt in the mid to late innings wasn’t enough to help No. 3 Arkansas erase an 8-0 deficit as No. 15 Mississippi State evened the three-game series with an 8-5 victory Saturday night at Baum-Walker Stadium in SEC play.

It was the fourth loss in conference play by a Razorbacks (41-10 overall, 18-8 SEC) team that started 16-4 in league games.

Arkansas starter Brady Tygart’s struggles continued for a second straight start. After giving up five runs in three innings against Kentucky in his last outing, Tygart found himself in trouble right from the start against Mississippi State (33-17, 15-11).

He walked the first two batters he faced and allowed a single to Dakota Jordan to load the bases with no one out in the first inning.

Things only got worse from there.

After a run scored on a ground ball double play that made it 1-0, State’s Amani Larry followed with a two-run home run that upped the early lead to 3-0 after a half-inning.

After getting the first two men to lead off the second inning, the walks continued for Tygart, who issued back-to-back free passes to Johnny Long and Bryce Chance. David Mershon reached on an infield single before Tygart walked in a run for a 4-0 Bulldogs lead.

Tygart’s night was done after that. He threw 54 pitches (27 strikes) in just 1 2/3 innings, allowing five walks to go with four runs and three hits.

Things didn’t get any easier for Arkansas with Ben Bybee on in relief. Bybee walked three more batters in the third inning but escaped without allowing a run. In the fourth, he wasn’t so lucky. Jordan sent a two-run home run to right to up the Bulldogs’ lead to 6-0. After a two-out error by Wehiwa Aloy, Logan Kohler hit State’s third home run of the night for a two-run shot and an 8-0 lead.

Arkansas got a two-run home run from Peyton Stovall in the fifth inning to get back into the game at 8-4. They tacked on another run in the sixth courtesy of a leadoff walk to Nolan Souza, who advanced from first to third on a Ross Lovich single. Kendall Diggs drove in Souza with a sacrifice fly.

The Razorbacks’ best chance to pull even came in the eighth inning when they put runners on first and second and got two cracks to try to tie the game. Instead, Brook Auger struck out Lovich and Diggs looking to get the Bulldogs out of the inning.

In the ninth, Tyler Davis allowed a two-out single to Aloy but struck out Ben McLaughlin looking to end the game.

One night after walking nine batters, Arkansas pitchers walked 11 in Saturday’s contest. Tygart (4-3) suffered the loss with Cam Schuelke (3-2) earning the win in relief for the Bulldogs.

Both teams finished with nine hits apiece. Hudson White continued his hot hitting with a 2-for-4 night. Aloy (3-5) led Arkansas with three hits, including two doubles.

The rubber match of the series is scheduled for 2 p.m. CDT Sunday. The game can be seen on SEC Network.

Story originally appeared on Razorbacks Wire