Recapping No. 14 MSU’s 5-2 loss to Central Arkansas in the NCAA Regional at Dudy Noble Field on Sunday.
• The buzz: The Bulldogs (45-18) were unusually sloppy, although it’s apparently not so unusual for them to be sloppy against Central Arkansas (42-21). MSU made four errors, and in five games versus UCA has made 12 errors. Despite the early miscues, it was a 2-2 game entering the bottom of the sixth, when UCA scored three (earned) runs.
• Big inning: In the sixth, Ethan Harris got a leadoff single and advanced to second on a bunt. After a Michael Marietta single, Scott Zimmerle drove home a run to make it 3-2. Then Justin Treece lifted a two-run double over the head of a drawn-in Demarcus Henderson in left field.
• Key stats: While MSU committed four errors, UCA just made one. Two of the errors were made by shortstop Adam Frazier, leading to two unearned runs in the third. … State left seven on base, UCA six.
• MSU at the plate: State had four hits. … Sam Frost had two hits, including an RBI single in the sixth to tie the game 2-2. … Henderson had an RBI single in the second for a 1-0 MSU lead.
• UCA at the plate: The Bears had six hits. … Zimmerle had two hits. … Treece’s double was just his sixth of the year.
• MSU on the mound: Starter Trevor Fitts sent 2 2/3 innings and was doing solid work when the defense unraveled. He was charged with two unearned runs on one hit with a strikeout and two walks. … Myles Gentry (4-1) gave up three runs (all earned) on five hits in 3 1/3 innings, walking one. … Will Cox tossed two shutout frames, allowing no hits with two Ks.
• UCA on the mound: Starter Ethan McKinzie threw a complete game, allowing just four hits with five walks and a strikeouts. It was his third start of the season and his first complete game. He threw 128 pitches.
• Quotable: “Trevor Fitts deserves an apology from our entire club, and probably our coaching staff. … We lost our identity, and that’s disappointing, but we have another day.” – MSU coach John Cohen
• Bottom line: The Bulldogs have to regroup quickly if they want to advance to the super regional against Virginia. Frost said the players “weren’t focused coming into today,” which if true is disconcerting considering how good UCA has been against State. Neither coach has made a decision on starting pitcher for Monday’s game, which starts at 7:05 p.m.