COLLEGE STATION, Tex. – Mississippi State surrendered a pair of grand slams Sunday afternoon as it fell to No. 1 Texas A&M 13-5 in the final game of a Southeastern Conference series at Blue Bell Park.
Texas A&M won the series 2-1, while improving to 32-3 overall and 10-3 in league play. MSU fell to 22-15 and 6-8. The Bulldogs have dropped four of five conference series this season.
“In the first two games (of the series), we pitched it well and that kept us in the game,” MSU head coach John Cohen said. “In this game, we didn’t pitch it well at all. Realistically, we have two out of eight innings where you feel like pitchers went out and did a really great job.
“Personally, I feel we have the best defensive infield in the league but we are struggling to put them in a position to make plays.”
MSU built a 2-0 lead on a two-run double by John Holland in the first inning. Texas A&M evened the contest with two runs on three base hits in the home half of the first inning.
The Bulldogs then grabbed their final lead at 3-2 in the second inning on an RBI-single by Gavin Collins. MSU starter Vance Tatum (3-2) was chased during a two-run second inning which put the Aggies in the lead for good.
In the fourth inning, a grand slam by Nick Banks extended the Texas A&M lead to 8-3.
The Bulldogs closed within 8-5 in the fifth inning on a Wes Rea home run and run-scoring infield fly by Cody Brown.
The Aggies got one back in the fifth inning and put the contest away on a grand slam by Ronnie Gideon in the eighth inning.
MSU finished with 14 hits. Rea had three hits, while Brown, Ryan Gridley and Seth Heck each had two hits.
Tatum lasted one-plus inning, allowing three hits and four runs (three earned). Logan Elliot, Dakota Hudson, Ross Mitchell, Zac Houston and Paul Young followed in relief.
Texas A&M finished with 12 hits. Logan Taylor had three hits, while Banks, Michael Barash and Mitchell Nau each had multiple hits. Ryan Hendrix (4-1) earned the win with 4.1 innings of one-hit shutout relief.
MSU returns home for a four-game homestand at Dudy Noble Field. It opens with Northwestern State at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, while Florida then comes to town for Super Bulldog Weekend.
(From MSU Media Relations)