ARLINGTON, Texas — An even contest through six frames slipped away late as No. 10 Texas Tech fell, 11-5, to No. 8 Mississippi State in its finale at the State Farm College Baseball Showdown at Globe Life Field.
The Bulldogs (2-1) edged in front with a two-out RBI single in the eighth, before opening it up in the ninth with five insurance runs. The Red Raiders (0-3) will now be looking for their first win of the season next weekend as they open their home slate at Rip Griffin Park against Houston Baptist (1-2).
All three games at the College Baseball Showdown were one-run battles into the ninth. The Red Raiders carried a 9-8 lead into the final frame against No. 8 Arkansas on Saturday, dropped a one-run game to Ole Miss on Sunday, and trailed by just a run heading into the ninth on Monday.
Cal Conley led the Red Raiders at the plate once again, going 2-for-5 for his third multi-hit game to open the year. Dylan Neuse, who moved to the leadoff spot on Monday, reached base four times with three base on balls and one hit-by-pitch.
Dru Baker recorded a team-high two RBI in the contest with a single in the fifth and the game-tying RBI on a fielder’s choice an inning later. Braxton Fulford and Cole Stilwell added an RBI each.
Left-hander Mason Montgomery gave Tech four quality innings in his first start since facing a top-10 Mississippi State club in Biloxi last March just days before the season ended. He allowed just one run on three hits in his four innings of work.
Three newcomers followed Montgomery out of the bullpen as freshmen Chase Hampton and Jamie Hitt made their collegiate debuts and sophomore Chase Webster received his first appearance as a Red Raider. After Tech tied the game at 5-5 in the sixth, Hitt (0-1) entered and put a zero on the board in the seventh, but allowed the game-winning run in the eighth to take the loss.
The Bulldogs were led by Rowdey Jordan and Luke Hancock, who combined for six RBI on the day. Jordan went 2-for-5 with a two-RBI single in the fifth and an RBI triple as part of the five-run ninth. Hancock, meanwhile, hit a two-run home run in the sixth that helped the Bulldogs answer a three-run Red Raider fifth.
MSU got 3.0 scoreless innings from freshman starter Jackson Fristoe and 2.2 quality frames from senior Carlisle Koestler (1-0), who earned the win.
Opening Day at Dan Law Field at Rip Griffin Park is set for Friday at 2 p.m. The game, originally scheduled for 6:30 p.m., has been moved up due to inclement weather in the area that evening.