By Logan Lowery
STARKVILLE – No. 20 Mississippi State finished off the final three innings from Thursday’s weather suspended game to defeat Texas A&M 5-1 in Game 1.
But the celebration would be short-lived as the Aggies rallied back with a 6-3 win in Game 2 to even the series Friday night. A&M (26-18, 9-11) plated four runs in the fifth inning to snap a six-game winning streak for the Bulldogs.
“You can look up and down our lineup and everybody is hitting balls hard, we just couldn’t string anything together and get balls to fall,” said MSU coach John Cohen. “The same thing could be said for (Texas A&M) in the first game. It’s SEC baseball and we’ll get the rubber match (today). It’ll be a big, big ball game for us for a lot of different reasons.”
Game 3 is slated for 2:15 p.m. today on FSN. Sophomore right-hander Grayson Long (5-1, 2.44 ERA) will take the mound for Texas A&M while the Bulldogs hope to have sophomore righty Preston Brown (3-1, 1.95 ERA) available.
MSU (28-16, 11-9) outhit the Aggies in Game 2 11-9 led by Brett Pirtle going 3-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI. Alex Detz was 3-for-5 with an RBI while Seth Heck and Matthew Britton were each 2-for-4 with a pair of singles each.
“We’ve been swinging the bats well but there were a lot of situations today with runners on where it didn’t work out for us,” Pirtle said. “But that’s just baseball for you.”
Daniel Mengden picked up the win on the mound for the Aggies improving to 3-6. Mengden went six innings allowing a pair of runs on nine hits while striking out two and walking one.
Ty Schlottmann tossed the final three innings to earn his first save.
Cole Lankford was 2-for-4 at the plate for A&M with an RBI and Nick Banks went 2-for-5 with a crucial two-run double in the fifth frame.
Ross Mitchell saw his record fall to 6-4 on the campaign as his start lasted 41⁄3 innings for the Diamond Dogs. Mitchell allowed three earned runs on seven hits while walking three and fanning two.
Holder closes it out
Thursday night’s game was resumed in the top of the 7th inning with State holding a 4-1 lead.
Reliever Jacob Lindgren was brought in but quickly loaded the bases full of Aggies before turning things over to Jonathan Holder with one out. Holder induced strikeout and a lineout to end the threat.
The All-American earned his fifth save of the season going the final 22⁄3 shutout innings allowing just one hit and fanning four.
Cody Brown added a solo homer in the eighth to aid the Bulldogs 10-hit attack. Seth Heck was the leading hitter going 3-for-5 with a double and a RBI.