LIVE UPDATES: Diggs Returns as Hogs Aim to Clinch Arkansas vs Mississippi State Series

Kendall Diggs, Arkansas baseball, Arkansas vs Mississippi State
photo credit: Craven Whitlow

FAYETTEVILLE — After coming off the bench for the first time in SEC play Friday night, Kendall Diggs is back in the starting lineup for Game 2 of the Arkansas vs Mississippi State series.

The veteran slugger has been battling a shoulder injury that has led to a disappointing junior campaign, which led to him not starting Game 1, but Dave Van Horn said he looked great in batting practice and indicated he was just giving him one more day off to rest. Now he’s batting leadoff and playing right field for Game 2, which is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT Saturday on SEC Network-Plus.

As a pinch hitter in the eighth inning Friday night, Diggs elicited a loud cheer from the Baum-Walker Stadium crowd when he drove a ball to deep left-center, but it was caught on the warning track. It was still a productive out, though, as a runner was able to tag up from second to third on the play.

However, Diggs is hitting only .246 this year, including an abysmal .206 in conference play. Even though he re-aggravated his shoulder injury in the series, Diggs had a decent showing last weekend at Kentucky, going 4 for 12 with five RBIs. That includes a monster showing in Game 1.

The Razorbacks are hopeful he’s back to full healthy and will get hot down the stretch, showing why he was a preseason All-SEC selection.

Follow along below for updates from Game 2 of the Arkansas vs Mississippi State series…

(READ NEXT: Check out our in-depth recap of Friday’s win over the Bulldogs)

LIVE UPDATES — Arkansas vs Mississippi State (Game 2)

Pregame Tidbits

Several Arkansas seniors were honored before the season: Stone Hewlett, Peyton Holt, Ross Lovich, Hudson Polk, Parker Rowland, Jack Wagner, Ty Wilmsmeyer and Koty Frank.

In addition to Kendall Diggs being back in the lineup, Dave Van Horn is also starting Nolan Souza at designated hitter and Ross Lovich in left field. Everyone else is pretty much the same, but he also shuffled the order. Most notably, Holt went from leadoff to the 8-hole and Stovall moved back another spot to the 3-hole.

T-1st: Mississippi State 3, Arkansas 0

Tygart issued back-to-back walks to start the game, prompting some movement in the bullpen, with right-hander Ben Bybee getting loose. Jordan followed with a grounder up the middle that looked like a double play or at least an out, but Stovall didn’t handle it. It was ruled an infield single to load the bases.

Hines then hit a ground ball to second. Stovall fielded it, tried to tag the runner going to second, who was called out for running out of the base path, and then threw to second for a run-scoring 4-3 double play. Tygart was one strike away from getting out of it with only the one run scoring, but Larry smoked a line drive in a 1-2 count that landed in the left field bullpen for a two-run homer. He did finally end the inning with a strikeout of Downs in the next at bat.

B-1st: Mississippi State 3, Arkansas 0

The Razorbacks went down in order, forcing Cijntje to throw only 13 pitches.

T-2nd: Mississippi State 4, Arkansas 0

With the help of yet another incredible catch by Holt in center, Tygart retired the first two batters he faced in the second inning before issuing a two-out walk in a full count against Long, the 9-hole. He also walked Chance and gave up an infield single to Mershon to load the bases again. A walk of Jordan brought in another run and marked the end of his day.

Right-hander Ben Bybee is first out of the pen for Arkansas. He got out of the jam with a strikeout of Hines.

B-2nd: Mississippi State 4, Arkansas 0

Aloy started the inning with a blast to dead center that hit off the yellow for a double. McLaughlin followed with a walk, but they were stranded when Cijntje retired the next three Hogs in order. He’s up to 42 pitches through two innings, though.

T-3rd: Mississippi State 4, Arkansas 0

The Bulldogs loaded the bases once again, this time thanks to three walks, but Bybee got out of the jam without allowing a run. He struck out Long and got Chance to ground out to short to end the inning.

B-3rd: Mississippi State 4, Arkansas 0

Sprague-Lott drew a two-out walk and Stovall crushed a pitch to left-center, but Jordan tracked it down and made a leaping grab, robbing him of extra bases to end the inning. Cijntje is up to 58 pitches through three innings.

T-4th: Mississippi State 8, Arkansas 0

Mershon singled to start the inning and Jordan followed by crushing a two-run homer off the Hunt Center. It was a 391-foot blast that left the bat at 107 mph. Bybee got Hines to ground out to second, struck out Larry and looked like he’d get out of it with a ground ball by Downs, but Aloy booted it. The error extended the inning and then Kohler crushed a two-run homer off the Hunt Center. Pulliam drew a walk to prompt a visit from Matt Hobbs. He finally ended the inning by getting Long to ground out.

B-4th: Mississippi State 8, Arkansas 2

With one out, McLaughlin drew a walk and White singled to center. The Razorbacks got on the board when the second baseman fielded Souza’s grounder and threw wide to first base. The E4 allowed McLaughlin to score and moved White to third. Holt gave it a ride to right, but it was caught – plenty deep for a sacrifice fly, though. Cijntje got Lovich to fly out to end the inning, but he’s up to 85 pitches through four innings.

T-5th: Mississippi State 8, Arkansas 2

Left-hander Parker Coil is the new pitcher for Arkansas. He made quick work of the Bulldogs, getting a couple of fly outs to right before giving up a two-out double to Jordan. Hines grounded out to end the inning on Coil’s 10th pitch – seven of which were strikes.

B-5th: Mississippi State 8, Arkansas 4

Diggs beat the shift with a single through the left side to start the inning, but Sprague-Lott followed with a tailor made double play ball to short. Luckily for the Razorbacks, the throw to first was bad and he reached on a fielder’s choice. They made the Bulldogs pay, as Stovall crushed a 3-1 pitch off the Hunt Center for a two-run homer. It was a 423-foot blast that had a 109 mph exit velocity.

That prompted a pitching change and Mississippi State turned to submarine right-hander Cam Schuelke. He promptly gave up a double to Aloy, but he was stranded on second when McLaughlin popped out in a full count and White grounded out in a 3-1 count.

T-6th: Mississippi State 8, Arkansas 4

Coil got a couple of first-pitch outs before allowing a two-out single to Kohler. That was all the damage, though, as Pulliam hit a little dribbler that Coil had to field going toward the third base line, spin and throw to first. He did it perfectly to end the inning. Coil has thrown 21 pitches in two innings.

B-6th: Mississippi State 8, Arkansas 5

Souza drew a leadoff walk and, after a strikeout by Holt, Lovich singled through the right side. That put runners on the corners. Diggs delivered an RBI with a sacrifice fly. Lovich took second when the throw went all the way to the catcher. With a runner still in scoring position, Sprague-Lott flied out to center to end the inning.

T-7th: Mississippi State 8, Arkansas 5

Coil retired the Bulldogs in order in the seventh, getting a couple of strikeouts in the process. He’s thrown only 32 pitches in three innings.

B-7th: Mississippi State 8, Arkansas 5

The Razorbacks went down 1-2-3 for the first time since the first inning.

T-8th: Mississippi State 8, Arkansas 5

Coil got Jordan to look at strike three to start the inning, but then gave up a one-out double to Hines in an 0-2 count. That’s the end of his day after 3 1/3 really strong innings. Right-hander Cooper Dossett is now pitching. He promptly plunked Larry with a 93 mph fastball to the helmet on his second pitch. Dossett did get Downs to pop out to first, though.

With the left-handed Kohler coming up, Arkansas brought in left-hander Stone Hewlett. He walked Kohler, but then struck out Pulliam to strand the bases loaded.

B-8th: Mississippi State 8, Arkansas 5

White reached on what was scored an infield single, but was probably an error by the shortstop, as he couldn’t handle the grounder right to him. Souza went down looking, but then Holt hit a chopper that got over the infield for a single. White should have gone first-to-third, but stopped at second. The runners were stranded, though, as Lovich and Diggs went down looking.

T-9th: Mississippi State 8, Arkansas 5

Right-hander Jake Faherty is now pitching for the Hogs. He struck out Long, got Chance to ground out and then struck out Mershon.

B-9th: Mississippi State 8, Arkansas 5

Mississippi State brought in its top bullpen arm, left-hander Tyler Davis, for the ninth inning. Sprague-Lott flied out to center to start the frame. Stovall also flied out to center. In an 0-2 count, Aloy kept the game alive with a line drive over the third baseman for a single. McLaughlin also fell behind 0-2 and eventually struck out to end the game. That evens the series and sets up a rubber match tomorrow.

FINAL – Mississippi State 8, Arkansas 5

Starting Lineups

Mississippi State BaseballArkansas Baseball
1. Bryce Chance – LF1. Kendall Diggs – RF
2. David Mershon – SS2. Jared Sprague-Lott – 3B
3. Dakota Jordan – CF3. Peyton Stovall – 2B
4. Hunter Hines – 1B4. Wehiwa Aloy – SS
5. Amani Larry – DH5. Ben McLaughlin – 1B
6. Aaron Downs – RF6. Hudson White – C
7. Logan Kohler – 3B7. Nolan Souza – DH
8. Ethan Pulliam – 2B8. Peyton Holt – CF
9. Johnny Long – C9. Ross Lovich – LF
Pitching: BHP Jurrangelo CijntjePitching: RHP Brady Tygart

How to Watch Arkansas vs Mississippi State (Game 2)

Date: Saturday, May 11

Location: Baum-Walker Stadium (Fayetteville, Ark.)

First Pitch: 6 p.m. CT

TV/Streaming: SEC Network-Plus


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