COLLEGE STATION, Texas — For the second straight day, the Mississippi State Bulldogs were victims to a Texas A&M comeback, as the Bulldogs fell to the No. 10 Aggies 9-6 Saturday at Blue Bell Park.
The Bulldogs (25-26, 9-17 SEC) led 4-0 early and carried a 5-4 lead into the seventh inning. The Aggies (32-16, 16-10 SEC) used two runs in the seventh inning and three in the eighth to secure the series win.
MSU outhit Texas A&M 11-9, with graduate student RJ Yeager and freshman Hunter Hines both recording multiple hits. The Aggies were led by sophomore Trevor Werner, who finished 2-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs. Sophomore Ryan Targac added two hits and an RBI, while graduate student Troy Claunch also added two hits.
The Bulldogs got six innings from junior starting pitcher Preston Johnson, who allowed four runs on five hits with three strikeouts and three walks. Sophomore Jackson Fristoe then pitched the seventh inning and allowed two runs on one hit with one strikeout and one walk. Freshman Pico Kohn (2-2) was charged with the loss after allowing three runs on three hits in the eighth.
Sophomore pitcher Wyatt Tucker tossed four innings for the Aggies and allowed five runs on seven hits with two strikeouts and one walk. Freshman Chris Cortez (5-2) earned the win after allowing one run on four hits to go with five strikeouts in the final five innings.
After a scoreless first inning, the Bulldogs took a 3-0 lead in the top of the second inning. Junior Kamren James hit a one-out double down the left-field line and graduate student Jess Davis followed with his first home run of the season. Senior Tanner Leggett and Yeager followed with back-to-back singles and pulled off a double steal to put runners on second and third. Senior Luke Hancock’s sacrifice fly scored Leggett.
Hines hit a leadoff home run in the top of the third inning to give MSU a 4-0 lead, but Texas A&M answered with two runs in the bottom half. Graduate student Kole Kaler bunted for a leadoff single and graduate student Dylan Rock capitalized with a two-run homer to left field to make it 4-2.
A trio of singles by Hancock, Hines and sophomore Kellum Clark extended MSU’s lead to 5-2 in the top of the fifth. In the bottom half, Kaler drew a one-out walk and Werner followed with a two-run home run to left field to make it a 5-4 ballgame.
In the bottom of the seventh, Kaler was walked with one out and Werner was hit by a pitch to put two runners on. Sophomore Jack Moss scored both runners with a two-RBI double to left-center field to give the Aggies a 6-5 lead.
The Bulldogs evened the game at 6-6 in the top of the eighth inning thanks to a leadoff home run by senior Brad Cumbest, but Texas A&M answered with three runs in the bottom half to take the lead for good. Junior Brett Minnich drew a leadoff walk and Claunch followed with a single to right-center. Targac plated Minnich with an RBI double down the left-field line. A sacrifice fly scored Claunch before Warner’s RBI single to right field scored Targac to give Texas A&M a 9-6 lead.
The Bulldogs will look to avoid being swept Sunday at noon CT on SEC Network.