MSU out of SEC tourney

Published 12:01 am Friday, May 27, 2011

HOOVER, Ala. — Mississippi State’s appearance in the Southeastern Conference Baseball Tournament became a brief one Thursday morning as the sixth-seeded Bulldogs dropped a 7-2 decision to second-seeded Arkansas in an elimination game played at Regions Park.

Playing in the league’s year-ending event for the first time since 2007, the Bulldogs lasted 20 minutes shy of 24 hours in the double-elimination event. The Maroon and White were also 0-2 in 2007, after winning the tournament championship in 2005. Most national predictors have the Bulldogs returning to the NCAA regional field for the first time since 2007. Confirmation of that would come Monday when the NCAA releases its 64-team regional field, live at 11:30 a.m. on ESPN.

“I like our chances,” MSU head coach John Cohen said. “We have played well enough this year to deserve a spot. I feel like if our kids get in a tournament, we have a chance to win some games. We have a chance to win a regional.”

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MSU completes tournament play with a 34-23 overall record. Western Division champion and 18th-ranked Arkansas improves to 37-19. The Razorbacks will face either Alabama or Florida in another elimination game Friday afternoon.

The Razorbacks set the tone Thursday by scoring four runs in the top half of the first inning. While Arkansas did manage three hits in the frame, the Bulldogs did not aid their own cause with a walk, two wild pitches and pair of errors.

MSU starting pitcher Nick Routt (2-3) settled down after that but threw way too many pitches to make it a full day’s work. Routt threw 75 pitches in 3.1 innings, allowing eight hits and five runs (four earned), with six strikeouts and three walks.