MSU Media Relations
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - A late-inning rally gave Mississippi State the lead but the Bulldogs could not hold it.
Battling back from a four-run deficit, the Bulldogs dropped a heart-breaking walk-off 8-7 decision to Alabama in the final game of a weekend Southeastern Conference series at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.
The Bulldogs almost had the game-winner when Austen Smith sent a dribbler back to Taylor Stark on the mound. Stark threw to first for the potential out. The umpires huddled and ruled a foul ball since the ball hit the plate. Given new life, Smith ripped a game-winning two-run double to the outfield wall two pitches later.
"When you go on the road you have to overcome a lot of things in the Southeastern Conference," MSU head coach John Cohen said. "I thought our kids did a great job of competing and overcoming those things. The surface plays different. Things are different. There are things you can control in this game and things that you can't.
"I thought our kids did a great job of competing and fighting their tails off and controlling the things that they can control."
MSU won its first series at Alabama since the 2004 season. The Bulldogs are now 29-18 overall and 12-12 in league play, while the Crimson Tide is 18-30 and 7-17. MSU had taken 3-1 and 3-2 victories prior to Sunday's contest.
Down 6-2 in the series finale, the Bulldogs struck for three runs in the eighth inning.
Mitch Slauter drew a leadoff walk and Trey Porter punched a single through the infield. Pinch-hitter Phillip Casey followed with an RBI-single. After a strikeout, Brent Brownlee and Daryl Norris followed with back-to-back hits. A sacrifice-fly by Sam Frost brought the Bulldogs within a run.
In the ninth inning, the Maroon and White saw the door open when Matthew Britton drew a walk on a full-count pitch. Porter followed with a ground-rule double down the right field line. Casey followed with a two-run single. A double play ball got UA out of the inning but the Bulldogs had grabbed the lead.
In the home half of the inning, Nick Routt got the first two outs before Reaves and Moore followed with back-to-back singles. In relief, Taylor Stark was touched for Smith's game-winner.
"We are not going to back down from anybody," Cohen said. "No matter the situation, we are not going to back down from anybody. We used almost everybody on our roster. We should have won a ballgame today. I am pleased with the things that we did as a team that were in our control."
Alabama built a 5-1 lead with four runs in the fourth inning. A bases-clearing double by Taylor Dugas was the big blow in the inning.
For the contest, the Bulldogs finished with 11 hits. Porter had four hits, while Casey entered late in the contest and had two singles and three RBIs.
Alabama finished with nine hits. Dugas had two hits and four RBIs. Jared Reaves and Andrew Miller each added multiple hits.
Starting pitcher Charley Sullivan worked the first seven innings. Sullivan allowed five hits and two runs (one earned), with five strikeouts. Trey Pilkington was touched for three hits while getting only one out in the eighth inning. Jake Hubbard (3-2) completed the contest and got the win.
Routt (2-5) worked 4.2 innings, allowing four hits and three runs (all earned), while taking the loss. Luis Pollorena started and was lifted in the third inning. Brandon Woodruff allowed three unearned runs, as an error preceded Dugas' big hit. Chad Girodo was touched for that hit. Caleb Reed, Routt and Stark then followed to the mound for the Bulldogs.
"Today was disappointing but we will more forward," Cohen said. "We will come out work hard and prepare for Mississippi Valley State."
The Bulldogs and Delta Devils play a 4 p.m. doubleheader Tuesday at Dudy Noble Field. Each game is schedule to be seven innings in length.
LSU 12, Ole Miss 3
Ole Miss Media Relations
OXFORD, Miss. – The Rebels rallied once to tie things up in the third inning, but LSU used a four home run day to pull away in the series finale as No. 24 Ole Miss (31-18, 11-13 SEC) fell to No. 4 LSU (38-11, 16-8 SEC) by a score of 12-3 on Sunday.
Matt Snyder added to his RBI total for the season with a two-RBI hit in the third inning to tie things up in the third-inning rally and Auston Bousfield hit his second home run in as many days with a solo shot in the seventh, but it was all the runs the Rebels would muster on the afternoon.
Dylan Chavez (3-4) took the loss for the Rebels, allowing three runs on four hits with a walk and a strikeout in 3.0 innings of work.
Aaron Nola (6-2) picked up the win for the Tigers as he allowed three runs on seven hits with two walks and two strikeouts in 7.0 innings of work.
“It was not a very good day for us on the mound and it was a very good day for them offensively,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “We fell behind in counts, hit guys and walked guys. They made us pay for it. Aaron Nola was so good for them on the mound. He placed his pitches and you can see why he is going to be a great one for them. We did not get a ton of good swings or hit a lot of balls hard on a day where it seemed like the ball was really flying out.”
LSU struck first on Sunday with a two-RBI double with two outs from JaCoby Jones with the bases loaded in the second inning. The Tigers used a single, a hit batter and a walk to load the bags before Jones would come up with the two-out hit.
Ole Miss answered in the bottom of the third with a two-RBI single off the wall in right field from Snyder that scored Andrew Mistone and Alex Yarbrough. A walk of Mistone and a single from Yarbrough put the two men on before Snyder drove them both in with the ball driven to the wall in right field to tie the game at two.
LSU got a solo shot from Tyler Ross to open the third and move back into the lead. It sparked a five-run inning for the Tigers and was the first of a pair of two-home run innings for LSU on the afternoon. Austin Nola also hit a three-run shot in the fourth as a part of the Tigers first five-run frame.
A second two-home run inning in the sixth effectively put the game out of reach as LSU again pushed five runs home to take the lead out to 12-2. Mason Katz opened the inning with a solo shot before Ross would deliver a sac fly and JaCoby Jones added on a three-run shot.
Bousfield came up with his second home run of the series in the seventh inning when opened the frame with a ball driven over the wall in left to make it 12-3. The score would sit there the rest of the way as Ole Miss would manage four more hits, but hit into a pair of inning ending double plays over the final three frames.
Ole Miss will return to action on Friday when the Rebels host Tennessee in the first game of a three-game series at Oxford-University Stadium/Swayze. Friday night’s contest will begin at 6:30 p.m. with Saturday’s game at 4 p.m. on SportSouth and Sunday’s finale at 1:30 p.m.
Tulane 4, Southern Miss 3
USM Media Relations
NEW ORLEANS - Blake Crohan had four hits and scored the winning run in the sixth to lead Tulane to a 4-3 Conference USA baseball victory over Southern Miss here Sunday afternoon at Greer Field at Turchin Stadium.
Southern Miss (25-22 overall, 9-9 C-USA) lost for a season-high fourth consecutive game as they were swept for the first time since 2010 when they lost all three games at home to UCF.
Dillon Day drove in all three runs for Southern Miss and Mason Robbins had two hits and threw 4 2/3 innings in a starting assignment but did not figure in the decision.
The Golden Eagles took the early advantage with a run in the second. After Robbins led off the inning with a single, he went to second on a groundout by Issac Rodriguez and then to third on a balk. Day followed with a line out to centerfield and Robbins was able to slide across the plate in front of the tag to give Southern Miss a 1-0 advantage.
Tulane tried to tie the score in the bottom of the third. After a strikeout, Brennan Middleton reached on a bunt single. Then Bowen Woodson doubled into the left-center and Day threw a strike to Ashley Graeter who relayed it to Austin Roussel to take Middleton at the plate.
The Green Wave then tied the score at 1-1 in the fourth. Nick Schneeberger collected a one-out double to right before Blake Crohan singled him home to even the score.
The home team took the lead in the fifth with a pair of runs. Brandon Boudreaux put the Wave ahead with a RBI single to center and Woodson scored on a throwing error by Travis Creel later in the frame.
The Golden Eagles tied the score at 3-3 in the sixth with two runs of their own. With one out, Roussel walked. After another out, Robbins singled and Rodriguez walked to load the bases before Day tied the score with a two-run single to left.
That tie did not last long as the Green Wave (32-16, 10-8) garnered a run in the bottom of the inning. Blake Crohan led off the frame with a double. After a sacrifice bunt that Roussel threw errantly to first to put runners at the corners, Tucker Oakley grounded into a double play to score the go-ahead run.
Tulane reliever Andrew Garner gave up just a hit and fanned one over 1 1/3 innings to get the victory and improve to 5-0 on the campaign.
USM reliever Cameron Giannini (2-3) allowed an unearned run over 2 1/3 on a hit to suffer the loss.
The Golden Eagles return to action when they entertain East Carolina for the first of three games next Friday, May 11, at 6 p.m.
Mississippi Gulf Coast 5, Northeast 0
Miss. Gulf Coast sweeps series
Read more about all these games in Monday's NEMS Daily Journal newspaper.