Bulldogs drop Game 1 to Arizona

Published 11:59 pm Friday, June 10, 2016

STARKVILLE (AP) — Mississippi State had plenty of baserunners and chances to score runs Friday night.

It just never did.

Bobby Dalbec pitched a season-high 8 2/3 scoreless innings, Cameron Ming got the final out with two on, and Arizona beat Mississippi State 1-0 in Game 1 of the Starkville Super Regional at Dudy Noble Field.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

Dalbec (10-4), drafted in the fourth round by the Boston Red Sox on Friday, threw 129 pitches in his fifth start of the season. He allowed just five hits, walked two and struck out nine for Arizona (43-21). He also hit three batters.

Mississippi State (44-17-1) left 10 men on base.

“It was a great pitching matchup,” Mississippi State coach John Cohen said. “They had 10 punch outs. We had nine. They made a couple of great defensive plays and that was really the main thing. Bobby Dalbec pitched great for them. We really didn’t make adjustments. Usually when you have a lot of strikeouts in a game, you have them early in a game and then adjustments are made. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to make those adjustments. We had a hard time doing anything consistently on offense.”

The Bulldogs need to wake up the offense in a hurry. Game 2 of the best-of-three series is Saturday at 5 p.m. A Mississippi State victory would force a deciding Game 3 on Sunday, but a loss would end the season and send Arizona on to the College World Series.

“There has been pressure on our guys all season,” Cohen said. “If you don’t win the last day (of the regular season), you don’t win the (Southeastern Conference) regular-season championship. If you don’t win last week, you don’t advance. There is no doubt the guys will come out ready to play the next two days. We certainly can win the next two days.”

Mississippi State pitcher Dakota Hudson matched Dalbec pitch-for-pitch on Friday. Hudson, who was the St. Louis Cardinals’ first-round draft pick the day before, allowed one run and struck out six in 6 1/3 innings in his final start in Starkville. He walked one batter.

Arizona’s J.J. Matijevic sliced a double to left field to score Ryan Aguilar from first in the sixth inning, for the game’s only run.

“It was emotional to be able to go out there and pitch one more time before such a great crowd,” Hudson said. “They were really supporting us. I will always remember pitching in games like this before crowds like this.”

Ryan Gridley and John Holland singled to left field with two outs in the ninth to chase Dalbec. Ming struck out Jake Mangum for his second save of the season.

Arizona has won 15 of its last 16 postseason games, dating to its national championship run in 2012. The Wildcats are 13-2 this season against teams ranked in the USA Today Top 25.


Friday: Arizona 1, Mississippi State 0

Saturday: 5 p.m.; TV: ESPNU; Radio: 105.5 FM

Sunday: 5 p.m. (if necessary); TV: ESPN2/ESPNU; Radio: 105.5 FM