Starkville, Miss. — Texas A&M baseball battled against No. 5 Mississippi State, but ultimately fell, 8-7, in 12 innings Friday night at Dudy Noble Stadium.
The Bulldogs struck first with a run in the first and second innings, before the Aggies put up three runs on a throwing error and a Ray Alejo RBI single in the top of the third to take the lead.
Mississippi State answered with a run of their own in the fifth to tie the game. The Maroon & White responded with a run in the sixth on an Alejo RBI single, and three in the seventh on a pair of home runs. Brett Minnich belted a pinch-hit dinger to right, prior to Bryce Blaum hitting a two-run homer to left.
The Bulldogs cut in to the lead with a three-run homer in the bottom of the seventh, and tied the game in the ninth on a sacrifice fly. A solo home run by Tanner Allen ended the game in the 12th.
Dustin Saenz earned the start for the Aggies, and was left with a no decision. The southpaw worked 5.2 innings, and allowed three runs on nine hits and a walk while striking out eight. Saenz ended four of his five innings with a punchout. Alex Magers suffered the loss, throwing the final 1.1 innings while strike out two and allowing one hit.
Offensively, the Aggies were led by Alejo and Logan Britt, each logging three hits.
Texas A&M dropped to 24-20 overall and 5-14 in SEC action. Mississippi State improved to 30-10 overall and 12-7 in league play.
TOP AGGIE PERFORMERS
Ray Alejo – 3-for-6, 2 RBI
Logan Britt – 3-for-6, 2 R
Bryce Blaum – 2-for-6, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R
Brett Minnich – 1-for-1, HR, RBI
Dustin Saenz (ND) – 5.2 IP, 8K, 3 ER, 9 H, BB
B1 | Tanner Allen reached on a single to left and moved in to scoring position on a Kamren James walk. Luke Hancock plated the game’s first run on a RBI single to center. MSU 1, A&M 0.
B2 | With two outs, Rowdey Jordan singled through the left side of the infield and scored on a double from Allen to left center. MSU 2, A&M 0.
T4 | Logan Britt opened the frame with an infield single before moving to third on a Bryce Blaum single down the line. Ty Coleman recorded an RBI on a grounder to third and reached via a throwing error that allowed Blaum to touch home. Mikey Hoehner followed with a single up the middle to put runners on the corners for Ray Alejo, who plated Coleman on a bunt single to first. A&M 3, MSU 2.
B5 | Back-to-back singles from Allen and James put runners on the corners for the Bulldogs. Luke Hancock drove in Allen on a groundout to first. A&M 3, MSU 3
T6 | Mikey Hoehner reached on a fielder’s choice and moved to third on a stolen base and a throwing error by the catcher. Alejo singled to left, scoring Hoehner. A&M 4, MSU 3
T7 | Pinch-hitter Brett Minnich sent a 1-1 pitch over the right field wall for his second homer of the season. Following a Britt single, Blaum lasered the first pitch he saw over the wall in left, his second dinger of the campaign. A&M 7, MSU 3
B7 | Logan Tanner hit a three-run homer to cut the lead to one. A&M 7, MSU 6
B9 | Brad Cumbest hit a leadoff double and moved to third on a groundout. Lane Forsythe tied the game with a sacrifice fly to left. A&M 7, MSU 7
B12 | Allen hit a walk-off home run to right. MSU 8, A&M 7
Game two of the series is scheduled for a 2:02 p.m. start. The game can be seen on SEC Network+. The series finale is slated to begin 60 minutes following the conclusion of game one.