Arkansas Bullpen Struggles Late In 4-3 Loss To Mississippi State

HOOVER, Ala. (KFSM)–Mississippi State scored one run in the eighth and two in the ninth en route to a comeback 4-3 win over Arkansas (39-16) at the SEC Tournament.

Arkansas now faces a doubleheader, and plays Auburn in the losers bracket at 4:30 PM. Mississippi State takes on Florida tomorrow morning at 11:00 AM.

Brent Rooker’s RBI double tied the game in the ninth, and a Cody Brown bases loaded walk put the Bulldogs ahead for good. The Diamond Hogs used five pitchers to get through the ninth: Kevin Kopps, Cannon Chadwick, Josh Alberius, Evan Lee and Kacey Murphy.

Arkansas’s only offense came in the first two innings. Luke Bonfield homered in the first inning and¬†freshman Jack Kenley and delivered an RBI double in the second inning. Kenley’s first collegiate hit gave the Razorbacks a 3-0 edge.

With that buffer, Trevor Stephan allowed eight hits but just one run, striking out five Bulldogs over six strong innings.

Arguably Arkansas’s most consistent pitcher over the last month, Stephan escaped jams in both the fourth and fifth innings. With the first two Bulldogs reaching base, Stephan got out of trouble using two strikeouts and a ground out in each frame.

Mississippi State cracked the scoreboard in the sixth inning on an RBI single by Elijah MacNamee to cut the deficit to two runs. But Stephan induced a 5-4-3 double play to end the threat. The Bulldogs chipped away in the eighth, after Jake Reindl loaded the bases. Kevin Kopps relieved Reindl and forced two ground outs: an RBI by Josh Lovelady and a 4-6-3 double play to end the frame.