Alabama baseball came up short in a 6-0 loss to fifth-ranked Mississippi State on Friday evening at Dudy Noble Field. Following the series opener, the Crimson Tide is now 23-12 overall and 4-9 in Southeastern Conference play.

“Sometimes you just have to tip your cap – we ran into a buzzsaw tonight,” said Alabama head coach Brad Bohannon. “I don’t remember ever seeing a pitcher get so many swings and misses on his fastball as Ethan Small did against us.”

Mississippi State built its lead early with four runs in the second. State added two more in the seventh to put things out of reach. Alabama loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the third but was unable to get on the board. The Crimson Tide had other opportunities throughout the night but could not battle back against Ethan Small (4-0). The Bulldog starter tossed 6.0 scoreless frames, allowing three hits and three walks while striking out 15 in the win.

Sam Finnerty (5-4) suffered the loss despite another solid outing. The senior allowed four runs on nine hits while striking out four across his 6.0 innings and 86 pitches of work. He gave up a home run in the fourth, but steadied himself after that, retiring the next 12 in order until a pair of singles broke the streak in the sixth.

State posted four runs in the second for the early lead. A single started the frame before another single, this one with one out, brought in the game’s first run. Two outs later, the Bulldogs knocked a three-run home run over just over the wall in right to make it 4-0. Mississippi State added a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh for a 6-0 advantage, the eventual final.

Alabama and Mississippi State return to the diamond tomorrow afternoon for a 1 p.m. CT first pitch at Dudy Noble Field. The Crimson Tide will call on redshirt junior Brock Love, a right-hander, in the start while the Bulldogs will counter with a righty of their own, senior Peyton Plumlee. Fans can catch game two live on SEC Network+.

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