#18 Texas A&M Wins Rubber Match Against Mississippi State
STARKVILLE, Miss. (MSU Athletics) – A late rally was not enough as Mississippi State dropped a 7-4 decision to No. 18 Texas A&M in Southeastern Conference baseball action, Sunday afternoon at Dudy Noble Field.
After winning the middle game in the three-game weekend series, the Bulldogs were trying to win a third straight home series. Instead, the Aggies erased a 2-1 deficit and later shut out the Bulldogs over five of their final six at-bats.
MSU fell to 24-21 and 9-12 in league play, while Texas A&M improved to 32-12 and 11-10.
“JP (France) and Cole (Gordon) were good out of the bullpen and gave us a chance,” MSU head coach Gary Henderson said. “We had some breakdowns in the eighth inning and they hurt. We had 13 hits with some hard-contact outs. We didn’t run the bases as well as we needed to do.”
MSU collected 13 hits but stranded 10 base runners. The Bulldogs were also hurt by four errors.
Marshall Gilbert and Rowdey Jordan each had three hits to lead the Bulldogs’ attack. Jake Mangum, Tanner Allen and Justin Foscue each had multiple hits.
After Texas A&M built a 1-0 lead, Hunter Stovall tied the contest up with a home run in MSU’s second inning. Also in that inning, Gilbert had a two-out single and scored on an outfield error.
Texas A&M responded with three runs in the top half of the third inning to take the lead for good.
In the MSU third inning, Jordan hit a leadoff double. After a strikeout, Allen drew a walk. After a flyout, Foscue connected for an RBI-single.
JP France was dominant out of the bullpen for the Bulldogs. France replaced starter Jacob Billingsley to start the fourth inning. Billingsley (3-3) allowed six hits and four runs (three earned), with two strikeouts.
France threw 4.2 innings, allowing seven hits and three runs (all earned) with seven strikeouts. Kale Breaux and Cole Gordon also threw. Gordon pitched 1.1 innings of one-hit shutout relief.
Texas A&M would eventually reach the MSU bullpen for one run in the seventh inning and two more scores in the eighth inning.
In the MSU ninth inning, Mangum and Jordan had back-to-back hits to start the frame. A ground ball out by Alexander brought home the game’s final run.
Zach DeLoach had four of the Aggies’ 14 hits. Stephen Kolek (4-4) picked up the win, while Nolan Hoffman got the final two outs for his ninth save.
State will take the week off for final exams, but will return to action next weekend for a three-game series at Alabama. The three-game series will begin Friday, May 4 at 6 p.m. CT in Tuscaloosa.