It was a night to forget for No. 5 Mississippi State on Friday. The Bulldogs committed four errors and allowed five unearned runs to score as MSU fell 7-3 to Tulane in the opener of a three-game series at Dudy Noble Field.
The Bulldogs got a run in the first after Rowdey Jordan doubled and Tanner Allen drove him home, but State was essentially shut down the rest of the way by Tulane starting pitcher Braden Olthoff. The Green Wave took a lead in the third on a two-run homer by Collin Burns and stayed in front the rest of the way.
Watch the video at the top of this page to see a few highlights from the contest, and see below for the stats, Cowbell Corner's MSU MVPs, the moment of the game and more.
Tulane at Mississippi State boxscore
Offensive MVP - RF Tanner Allen
It wasn't a banner night for MSU offensively, so the only Bulldog with multiple hits gets the nod here. Allen was 2-for-4 with a pair of singles, an RBI and a run scored. But it was nowhere near enough for State to overcome four errors that extended innings and fueled the majority of Tulane's offense.
Speaking of, maybe Allen's greatest contribution on the night wasn't what he did on the field, but what he said off it. Two of MSU's errors on Friday night came from shortstop Kamren James. Arguably a third error could've been charged to James as well on a night James also went 0-for-4 at the plate.
When Allen met with reporters postgame though, Allen gave James a ringing endorsement. It seemed to be leadership in action from Allen.
"Kamren James is the man," Allen said. "I like him. He's a great player. I'm behind him 100 percent. As a player when you're struggling and you have your teammates behind you, it helps a lot. I've been in his shoes. I've struggled before and had guys on the team who told me they believed in me and I deserved to be on the field and that helped my confidence so much. I believe (James) is our starting shortstop and I believe he's a great player. I'm going to be behind him 100 percent. He's going to be a special player."
For more from Allen, watch his full postgame press conference here:
Pitching MVP - RP Dylan Carmouche
It's hard to have a much better MSU debut than Carmouche. The left-hander saw his first-ever Bulldog action in the eighth inning on Friday and struck out the side. The only blemish against Carmouche was, with two outs, he hit a Tulane batter. However Carmouche immediately escaped trouble by punching out the following Green Wave hitter.
In all, seven MSU hurlers pitched on Friday night. Many suffered some tough luck, such as starter Christian MacLeod who allowed three runs over four innings, but all three runs were unearned.
However Carmouche made his own luck on Friday as he was so good no Tulane hitter could even put it in play against him.
Moment of the game - Tulane escapes trouble
Mississippi State missed probably its best chance to make significant noise in Friday's game in the fifth inning. Tulane had a 3-1 lead at the time, but the Bulldogs got a one-out double from Scotty Dubrule and a two-out walk from Drew McGowan to put two men on with two out. And leadoff man Rowdey Jordan was coming up.
Tulane pitcher Braden Olthoff seemed to be in major trouble. Add to it that earlier in the frame, MSU thought Olthoff might be using a foreign substance to aid his pitches. The umpires checked out Olthoff, but found nothing. The situation might've served to fill Olthoff's tank even more than it already was.
He wiggled out of trouble by getting Jordan to ground out to first. In celebration, Olthoff turned and taunted the Mississippi State dugout. Tulane then followed by breaking the game wide open with three more runs in the sixth. So Olthoff won both the battle in the fifth inning, and, in the end, the war.
"We just thought there might have been something on there," Lemonis said of the substance-search situation. " Obviously there wasn't. He was just jamming it up our tails."