It was another series defeat against the Louisiana State University Tigers as Mississippi State University has failed to win a series at home against the Tigers since 2003.
After an upbeat start on Thursday, things went downhill as MSU gave up 21 runs over two games. MSU lost 10-5 Friday and 11-2 Sunday.
MSU’s head coach Chris Lemonis said LSU played well both offensively and defensively on Friday night, a game in which the Bulldogs were simply out played.
“Tip your hat to LSU," Lemonis said. "I thought they played really well. Defensively, they suffocated us. Their pitchers were really good, and they had some great at-bats. I didn’t think we played the game great tonight.”
Frustration was the word Jordan Westburg used to describe the defeat on Friday; but Saturday's loss was a completely different affair as the Bulldogs stranded nine runners, only scoring two runs in a nine-run defeat.
Jake Mangum, a senior outfielder from Pearl, said the team is in a different spot than last year.
“We just got beat. We just got embarrassed,” Mangum said. “A year ago, we were two and seven right now in conference, bottom of the chain in the SEC, and we fed off of that. Right now, we have the target on our back, and we are not handling that well.”
There was not one individual aspect of the game Mangum could point to and say the team has to improve on. He said it was everything, from defending as they had three errors, pitching with the six walks, and offensively the team wasted 10 hits, only converting two runs.
“This weekend we got embarrassed in two games, and we have to get back to work," Mangum said. "We have to defend better, we have to throw more strikes and we have to hit better. In every aspect, we have to be better.”
Any home series loss for a team is a tough thing to swallow, but Mangum said this one hurt more because of the pride they have in the M over S embroidered on their hats.
“We take pride in doing everything extremely well," Mangum said. "Absolutely I’m surprised. That’s not what this program is. Mississippi State’s known for turning the most double plays in the country almost every year. I have to do a better job at communicating in the outfield.”
In baseball, there are ups and downs, and it is not always an easy road. MSU went from winning two SEC series, to being embarrassed at home. However, a new week offers new chances to improve.
MSU will have four chances to do so with a game against the University of Louisiana Monroe Wednesday, and then a series at the University of Tennessee this upcoming weekend.
Lemonis said the locker room atmosphere was full of an angry team because they did not play well enough, and they will attack the week trying to prove they are better than their effort against LSU.
“They're pissed. We’ve got to get better,” Lemonis said. “We just have to get back to practice this week and get back to fundamental baseball. In our league, you’re not going to win them all probably, so you’ve got to be able to bounce back and play good baseball.”