No. 10 Irish can’t overcome errors in 9-8 loss to No. 7 Mississippi State
The long ball was still at play as Brooks Coetzee and Zack Prajzner both went yard early on for the Irish.
STARKVILLE, Miss. (Notre Dame Athletics) - The No. 10 Notre Dame baseball team dropped a back and forth 9-8 affair on Saturday afternoon at Dudy Noble Field against No. 7 seed Mississippi State.
The Irish (33-12) bats stayed as hot as the weather in Starkville, scoring in each of the first five innings of the game. The long ball was still at play as Brooks Coetzee and Zack Prajzner both went yard early on for the Irish.
The Bulldog (44-15) bats woke up in a big way in the middle innings, scoring five runs over the fifth and sixth innings to take their first lead of the game. The Irish tied the game in the top of the seventh but the Bulldogs hit the go-ahead home run with two outs in the bottom of the inning that proved to be the difference.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Notre Dame wasted no time getting on the scoreboard in the top of the first. After two straight singles to start the game and a walk to Niko Kavadas, runner’s were on the corners with two outs for Carter Putz. He laced a first-pitch fastball back into center field for a single to score Spencer Myers and the Irish led 1-0 after the first half inning.
Mississippi State got right back in it with a solo home run in the bottom of the inning off the bat of Tanner Allen. After the first frame, the score was tied 1-1.
The tie game did not last long thanks to the bat of Coetzee. On the first pitch of the second inning, Coetzee hit a blast into the seats in left field and the Irish jumped back ahead 2-1.
The Irish tacked on another run in the top of the third. Ryan Cole walked and Kavadas and Putz both were hit on back to back pitches to load the bases. Jack Brannigan dropped a single into right field to score Cole.
The Bulldogs evened the game in the bottom of the third after taking advantage of a couple errors by the Irish. After three innings from Starkville, the score was level at 3-3.
Another quick response came from the Irish in the fourth inning. Prajzner led the inning off with a double in the gap in right center. The very next batter, Myers singled to center to score Prajzner and regained the lead at 4-3 for the Irish.
The bats kept it going in the fifth, this time with the first crooked number on the scoreboard of the game. With runners on first and second, Prajzner hit a blast into the seats in left field to increase the lead to 7-3.
Mississippi State cut into the lead in the bottom of fifth after uncharacteristic errors from the Irish defense. The Bulldogs scored three runs in the inning and cut the lead to 7-6 after five innings.
The Bulldogs took their first lead of the game after a two run home run from Rowdy Jordan in the sixth. After six full innings, Mississippi State led 8-7.
The Irish battled back in the top of the seventh to tie the game. Brannigan doubled to start the inning and then with two outs, Prajzner doubled down the line in left to score Brannigan. It was Prajzner’s third hit of the game and tied the game at 8-8.
In the bottom of the seventh with two outs and a full count, Logan Tanner hit an opposite field home run that was the difference in the 9-8 Bulldogs win.
Notre Dame’s season will be on the line when they face Mississippi State for the second game of the Super Regional Sunday night. Game two will start at 6 p.m. ET from Dudy Noble Field and will be broadcast on either ESPN2 or ESPNU.