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With one out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh, freshman Antoine Duplantis smacked his first collegiate home run for a grand slam over right field wall to cut the Mississippi State lead to one run, but that was not enough for the Tigers as fifth-ranked LSU fell to No. 6 Mississippi State, 12-8, Friday night at Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field.
With the win, Mississippi State improved to 26-12-1 and 9-7 in Southeastern Conference play while LSU fell to 26-12 and 9-7 in conference play.
Game 2 of the series will begin Saturday at 6 p.m. in Alex Box Stadium, Skip Bertman Field and will be aired on ESPNU. The game can be heard on the LSU Sports Radio Network, including 98.1 FM in Baton Rouge. Fans can go to LSUsports.net for live stats and audio through the GeauxZone.
Right-hander Dakota Hudson (5-3) earned the win for the Bulldogs after throwing 6.1 innings and allowing seven runs on 12 hits. He struck out three and walked three.
Reid Humphreys had his fourth save of the season after entering to pitch from left field in the eighth inning. The right-hander fired 1.1 innings and struck out two.
Southpaw Jared Poche' (5-4) suffered the loss after allowing seven runs—six earned—on eight hits in six innings pitched. The junior struck out two and walked two.
"It was certainly a wild game, and unfortunately we just fell short," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "I'm so proud of our guys for the way they competed during the entire game. We have not have won, but it wasn't due to a lack of effort. Our hitters did a tremendous job against a pitcher (Hudson) who will likely be selected in the top half of the Major League draft in about a month and a half. I think the difference in the game were some defensive miscues that we couldn't quite overcome."
In the top of the first inning, Mississippi State center field Jake Mangum singled up the middle. After a one-out walk, an error and a fielder's choice loaded the bases, first baseman Nathaniel Lowe sent a grand slam over the right field wall to put the Bulldogs up 4-0.
With two outs in the bottom of the second, LSU third baseman Chris Reid started a four-hit inning with a single to third base. Catcher Michael Papierski followed with a single up the middle to put runners on the corners. Back-to-back RBI singles by second baseman Cole Freeman and right fielder Antoine Duplantis scored Reid and Papierski to cut State's lead to 4-2.
LSU tied the game at 4-4 in the third after Reid singled through the right side with runners on the corners and one out to score Beau Jordan from third. In the next at-bat, Papierski dropped a sacrifice bunt and reached first on a fielder's choice as Beau Jordan scored to even the game.
With two outs and runners in scoring position in the top of the sixth against Poche', second baseman Hunter Stovall sent a two-RBI double to the right-center field gap. An intentional walk put runners on first and second, and third baseman Gavin Collins doubled down the right field line, scoring Stovall to give Mississippi State the 7-4 lead.
In the top of the seventh with the bases loaded and no outs, designated hitter Jack Kruger drove a sacrifice fly to right field to score Humphreys from third after he led off the inning with a single up the middle. With a runner on third and two outs, shortstop Ryan Gridley singled through the left side to score Lowe, adding to the 9-4 Bulldog lead.
After a single by designated hitter Bryce Jordan to open the LSU seventh, Papierski was hit by a pitch, and Freeman walked to load the bases for the Tigers. Duplantis drilled a grand slam over the right field wall to put LSU within one run.
The Bulldogs added three unearned runs on two hits in the top of the eighth when right fielder Brent Rooker ripped a two-out single up the middle, and Lowe followed with a double to left field to drive in two runs to make it 12-8 Mississippi State.