COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The Mississippi State baseball team’s losing streak was extended to nine games with an 8-2 loss to No. 10 Texas A&M in Sunday’s series finale at Blue Bell Park.
With the loss, the Bulldogs fall to 25-27 (9-18 SEC), while the Aggies improve to 33-16 (17-10 SEC) and earn their first sweep of a conference opponent since they swept Kentucky on the road in March of 2019.
The game was scoreless until the fourth inning when MSU took a 1-0 lead, but Texas A&M responded with three runs in the bottom half of the inning. The Aggies increased their lead by three runs in the sixth inning. MSU added a run in the seventh before Texas A&M ended the game’s scoring with two runs in the eighth.
Senior Luke Hancock and sophomore Kellum Clark each had two of MSU’s six hits. Hancock had the team’s only RBI on the day. The Aggies were led by sophomore Ryan Targac with three hits, two runs and an RBI, while sophomore Trevor Werner and junior Austin Bost both finished with one hit and two RBIs.
Sophomore pitcher Cade Smith (4-3) started for the Bulldogs and was charged with the loss despite allowing just three unearned runs on four hits in 4 1⁄3 innings. He fanned one batter and walked three. Six relievers followed Smith to allow five runs on four hits with three strikeouts and three walks.
Texas A&M freshman starter Ryan Prager tossed 4 1⁄3 innings and allowed one unearned run on four hits, two walks and three strikeouts. Freshman Robert Hogan (3-1) was credited with the win after allowing one run on two hits with two strikeouts and one walk in 2 1⁄3 innings. Sophomore Will Johnston pitched the final 2 1⁄3 innings with five strikeouts to earn his second save.
A strikeout and flyout began the top of the fourth inning before Clark singled through the left side. Junior Kamren James followed with a single of his own and Clark was able to score on a fielding error to put MSU ahead 1-0.
In the bottom half of the fourth, junior Brett Minnich hit a leadoff single to right field. Graduate student Troy Claunch then reached on a fielder’s choice, but senior Tanner Leggett overthrew second, which scored Minnich and put Claunch on third base. Targac then singled to score Claunch. Junior Jordan Thompson reached on another Leggett fielding error to put two runners on with no outs. A fielder’s choice put runners on the corners before Werner’s sacrifice fly scored Targac and gave the Aggies a 3-1 lead.
Targac and Thompson drew walks to begin the bottom of the sixth inning. Graduate student Kole Kaler followed with an RBI single through the right side to put runners on the corners. Werner’s RBI single through the left side plated another runner. After a fielder’s choice, Kaler scored on graduate student Dylan Rock’s sacrifice fly to make it a 6-1 ballgame.
In the top of the seventh inning, graduate student RJ Yeager hit a two-out triple to right-center field and scored on Hancock’s RBI single to make it 6-2.
The Aggies added two more runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. sophomore Jack Moss was walked with two outs and Rock was hit by a pitch. Bost followed with a two-RBI double down the third-base line to put Texas A&M ahead 8-2.
The Bulldogs will now return home for the final four games of the regular season. MSU plays North Alabama on Tuesday at 6 p.m. CT on SEC Network+ before facing No. 1 Tennessee in a three-game series beginning Thursday at 6 p.m. on SEC Network. The series continues Friday at 6 p.m. on SEC Network+ before concluding with a 2 p.m. first pitch on Saturday, also on SEC Network+.