STARKVILLE, Miss. – The Mercer baseball team just couldn't get anything going offensively in a tightly contested 3-1 series finale loss against No. 23 Mississippi State on Sunday afternoon at Dudy Noble Field.
Mercer (12-5) was held to a season-low three hits in the contest while Mississippi State (14-3) won for the eighth time in its last nine games.
The Bulldogs took an early lead in the bottom of the first inning when junior Trey Porter slapped an RBI single to left field to give the home team a 1-0 advantage.
Mississippi State added to its lead in the bottom of the fourth after an RBI single and a suicide squeeze bunt plated a pair of runs to make the score 3-0.
Mercer started to climb back into it when freshman Chesny Young pulled an RBI single to left field to cut the lead down to 3-1.
That is the closest the Bears would get, however, as they struggled to adjust to MSU starter Kendall Graveman. Gravemen pitched 8.1 innings and allowed just the one earned run on three hits while striking out eight to earn the win.
The Orange and Black did get the tying run to the plate in the top of the ninth, but senior reliever Caleb Reed got junior Logan Gaines to pop out and sophomore Nick Backlund to strikeout to end the game.
Redshirt junior David Randall took the loss for Mercer after allowing three runs on five hits in 4.2 innings pitched.
Mercer finally returns home after over two weeks on the road on March 14 when it takes on in-state rival Georgia State. Game time is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Claude Smith Field.