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Missouri Baseball Drops Game One 4-3 Against No. 16 Mississippi State

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Missouri Baseball Drops Game One 4-3 Against No. 16 Mississippi State


The long ball was not enough to push the Missouri Tigers to a win against the No. 16 Mississippi State Bulldogs.

A three homer game gave the Tigers all of their runs and pushed them to a close game, but they couldn’t complete the comeback. Missouri dropped their third SEC game in a row, this one a 4-3 loss to Mississippi State. This loss officially eliminates the Tigers from a trip to Hoover for the SEC Tournament.

A solo home run in the second inning and a triple followed by a groundout in the third put Missouri down by two. Missouri would already have to fight from behind if they wanted a chance in the game.

The Tigers comeback was already mounting in the fourth inning when they brought themselves within one run. A solo shot from junior first baseman Danny Corona kicked off the scoring for Missouri.

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Mississippi State wasn’t going to make it easy on the Tigers, however. They got one run back in the fifth inning with a solo shot of their own to bring the difference back to two runs.

But Missouri didn’t seem content with that. They kicked off the sixth inning with back-to-back solo home runs from senior third baseman Trevor Austin and sophomore centerfielder Jackson Lovich. Despite being down initially, the Tigers had came back to tie the game and give themselves a chance.

But it didn’t last for long. Mississippi State retook the lead in the bottom half of the sixth after a walk, stolen base and a double pushed a runner across. This ended up being the deciding run for the game, as Missouri’s offense failed to bring another run across.

Missouri decided to send out junior right-hander Kaden Jacobi for his first start of his career in this game. He would do it against the No. 16 team in the country. Considering his opponents, he had quite a good start. He tossed three innings, giving up two runs on three hits. His main struggle came with the extra-base hits, such as the home run in the second inning and the triple in the third.

Jacobi was relieved by senior left-hander Ian Lohse in the fourth. He needed to keep the Tigers in the game and keep the Bulldogs from scoring, but gave up the go-ahead run in the sixth. Lohse threw three innings himself, with two runs on two hits. Junior Victor Quinn entered in the seventh.

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Missouri attempted to put graduate Jacob Peaden into the game to pitch in the seventh inning, but he was removed by the umpires after one pitch. It was said that Peaden could not pitch since he was not on the 27-man roster for the weekend. Another oddity for the Tigers squad was Lovich donning number 29 on his jersey, which belongs to junior Cameron Benson, instead of his usual 18.

Missouri’s record drops to 22-31 on the season and 8-20 in SEC play, while Mississippi State improves to 35-18 and 16-12. The Tigers will take the field for game two at 6 p.m. CT on Friday.



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Ninth-inning magic comes through once again for Mississippi State baseball in Hoover

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Ninth-inning magic comes through once again for Mississippi State baseball in Hoover


The Diamond Dawgs are getting hot, and they might have some magic in them. For the second-straight night, Mississippi State baseball pulled off a thrilling victory in the 9th inning, with the same player coming through when needed.

MSU battled with 4-seed Texas A&M for eight innings, with the game tied at three. With two outs in the top of the 9th, Connor Hujsak drove in a pair of runs to put State up 5-3. Tyler Davis would get three quick outs to end to the game and advance the Bulldogs in the winner’s bracket.

Mississippi State is now 38-19 on the season.

One of the biggest critiques from State fans this season has been the lack of clutch hitting from the Bulldogs. When they’ve been in a key moment, needing a run, and have baserunners on, no one in the lineup has shown the ability to consistently come through.

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That is, until Connor Hujsak stepped up.

Fresh off of emphatically ending his rival’s season, Hujsak once again stepped to the plate with two outs in the 9th inning with the pressure on him to deliver. Consecutive hit by pitches and a throwing error had the bases loaded for State in a 3-3 game. They just needed someone to drive them home.

And Mr. Clutch himself was up for the task. Hujsak drove a single through the middle of the infield, bringing in the winning runs for the Bulldogs.

MSU has found its guy they can rely on in the big moments, and that makes them all the more dangerous in the postseason.

The story of the season for Mississippi State baseball has been the turnaround of their pitching staff. First-year pitching coach Justin Parker has worked wonders with the group, taking them from one of the SEC’s worst a year ago to being amongst the league’s best.

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That showed Wednesday night against Texas A&M’s powerful lineup.

Starter Khal Stephen didn’t have his usual dominant stuff, but he still entered the 6th inning having allowed just one run. A walk and a single put a pair on, and he was pulled for Tyson Hardin. The Aggies managed to get those runs home to tie the game at three, but Hardin limited the damage.

The final three innings of work by MSU’s staff was shutdown. Nate Dohm and Tyler Davis allowed just one combined hit, no walks, and no runs, with Davis getting the save in the bottom of the 9th to secure the win.

The Aggies had just five hits on the night, and their three biggest bats went a combined 1-10. Pitching wins in the postseason, and State has it.

If MSU wanted to host a regional, they needed two wins in Hoover at a minimum. They’ve achieved that, and now, they’ll almost certainly see another weekend at Dudy Noble Field. State’s back into the Top-20 of the RPI and now owns 16 Q1 wins, third most of any team.

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This morning’s update from Baseball America, who has been lower on State as a host, was a positive one. They have MSU as the #15 national seed, hosting Arizona, Georgia Tech, and Nicholls State in Starkville.

The Diamond Dawgs will look to improve their positioning tonight against Vanderbilt. First pitch is set for approximately 8:00 pm CT, and you can watch on the SEC Network.



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Healthy in SEC tournament, Mississippi State baseball shows why it should host NCAA regional

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Healthy in SEC tournament, Mississippi State baseball shows why it should host NCAA regional


HOOVER, Ala. — Coach Chris Lemonis wanted to ensure the selection committee for the NCAA Tournament is aware of Mississippi State baseball’s resume. Through the noise of the grounds crew at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium on Wednesday, Lemonis made sure his pitch was heard.

Fresh off a 5-3 win against No. 4 seed Texas A&M in the second round of the SEC tournament, Lemonis listed the reasons he thinks there should be no debate about Mississippi State (38-19) hosting an NCAA regional at Dudy Noble Field.

“You’ve got to do your work, and it lays out for them,” Lemonis said. “Our kids have earned it. We deserve to have one in Starkville.”

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The Bulldogs won 17 conference games in the regular season – which doesn’t include a neutral site midweek win against rival Ole Miss. As the No. 5 seed in the SEC tournament, MSU has added two more victories against conference foes with a win over No. 12 seed Ole Miss on Tuesday before defeating Texas A&M.

Mississippi State has a top 20 RPI – a metric the committee uses to help form the field of 64. To get to No. 19 in those rankings, the Bulldogs defeated the Aggies (44-12) who own the nation’s top rating in the metric. Add the fact that the SEC could send most of its teams to the NCAA tournament, Lemonis feels the argument for State to host is solid.

“If you have 11 teams in and you finish fifth in the league, how are you not hosting?” Lemonis said. “That’s a pretty easy statement.”

Mississippi State stars are struggling, but Connor Hujsak is back

Lemonis felt Mississippi State’s case was cemented even before its arrival in Hoover. However, aware that they don’t want to give the committee a choice, his players have aimed to prove their case.

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Behind consecutive nights of ninth-inning heroics from outfielder Connor Hujsak, the Bulldogs have advanced to the winner’s bracket where they’ll face No. 8 seed Vanderbilt (37-20) on Thursday (8 p.m., SEC Network).

Hujsak delivered a two-run, walk-off home run against the Rebels before providing a two-run single to break a tie in the ninth inning Wednesday.

“It’s like the Connor Hujsak Invitational hosted by the SEC,” Lemonis joked.

Mississippi State was without Hujsak in its final seven regular season games. In his absence, MSU lost two of three games at Arkansas before winning a series against Missouri but failing to sweep.

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With him back, there’s potential for damage even amid slumps from first baseman Hunter Hines and outfielder Dakota Jordan.

HOT CORNER: Inside Logan Kohler’s rise with Mississippi State baseball from Bobby Witt Jr to power surge

Nate Dohm adds depth to Mississippi State pitching

Right-handed pitcher Nate Dohm has shown his absence due to an arm injury should also be taken into account by the committee.

He opened the season as Mississippi State’s top starter, allowing only four runs across 24 innings in his first four starts. However, he only pitched a third of an inning between March 8 and May 14.

The depth of Lemonis’ rotation was tested, and the Bulldogs went through most of conference play without their presumed ace. He returned for a May 14 start against North Alabama in which he threw two scoreless innings. He came out of the bullpen in his return to conference play with one shutout inning against Missouri on May 18.

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On Wednesday, after Texas A&M rallied for two runs in the sixth to tie the game, Dohm delivered two shutout innings to tame one of the country’s most potent lineups.

“We were missing a piece or two here and there,” Tyler Davis said after throwing a scoreless ninth inning Wednesday. “He’s coming in, filling that void and really giving us a chance to go deep in this thing.”

Stefan Krajisnik is the Mississippi State beat writer for the Clarion Ledger. Contact him at skrajisnik@gannett.com or follow him on the X platform, formerly known as Twitter, @skrajisnik3.





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National Folk Festival to be held in Mississippi's capital from 2025 through 2027

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National Folk Festival to be held in Mississippi's capital from 2025 through 2027


Mississippi’s capital city has been tapped to host the National Folk Festival from 2025 through 2027.

The free, three-day festival is set to be held in downtown Jackson during the second week of November in each of those years and will feature music, art, dance and food from cultures throughout the nation and around the world, The Clarion Ledger reported.

“As we were aiming to be the selected city for the National Folk Festival, part of our charge and part of our effort to entice the selection of the City of Jackson was to make it clear where we have roots in the creation of blues and jazz and genres like gospel music, that this is the opportunity for America’s music to come home to Mississippi,” Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba said at a news conference Tuesday. “We want to make it clear that this National Folk Festival is Mississippi’s National Folk Festival, not just the City of Jackson.”

Mississippi’s capital city has been tapped to host the National Folk Festival from 2025 through 2027.

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Jackson beat 42 other cities vying to host the event. It is estimated the festival will bring 60,000 attendees in its first year and 100,000 each year after that, Lumumba said. It is also estimated to have a $60 million impact during the festival’s three-year residency, officials said.

The National Council for the Traditional Arts, which created the festival, said t he event first started in 1934 and “is the oldest multicultural festival of traditional arts in the nation, and has been produced from its inception by the NCTA.”

The city did not provide specifics on where in downtown Jackson the outdoor event will be held.

After the three years the National Folk Festival is in Jackson, the plan is to start hosting a locally produced Jackson festival to take its place in subsequent years.

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“We’ve seen how the festival can be a drive for long-term economic impacts, downtown revitalization and really a sense of community building,” said Blaine Waide, the executive director of the National Council for the Traditional Arts.

The traveling festival is produced in partnership with communities around the country, according to the NCTA website. To date, it has been presented in nearly 30 cities, with some cities, such as St. Louis, hosting it several times, the site said. The last festival was the 81st and held in Salisbury, Maryland, in 2022, according to the website.



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