STARKVILLE, Miss.– A strong start from Friday hurler Garrett McMillan and a lead for much of the game were not enough in the series opener for Alabama baseball at Dudy Noble Field against Mississippi State. They fell 7-6 in 10 innings after a walk-off home run from the Bulldogs’ RJ Yeager.
McMillan went 5.1 innings and struck out six, surrendering only one run and two walks while throwing 105 pitches. The bullpen did not have a strong outing to back him up, however. Mississippi State scored six of the seven runs by way of the long ball, including a game-tying, two-run blast in the bottom of the ninth.
Offensively, the Tide scored in spurts. After falling behind in the second following an ugly infield play which scored the Bulldogs’ Brad Cumbest, Caden Rose hit a fourth-inning double for Alabama’s first run. Bryce Eblin gave the visitors the lead with a sacrifice bunt, and Jim Jarvis tripled to cross the third man for the hat trick.
In the seventh inning, Bama stretched the lead to four runs when Owen Diodati doubled in two more. Unfortunately, the home half of the inning brought trouble when Brock Guffey allowed two Bulldogs on base. Dylan Ray stepped out of the pen with two down to relieve him, but Kellum Clark hit a three-run home run to bring his team back within striking distance. That made the game 5-4, and in essence turned it on its head.
Not to be deterred, the Tide responded. Catcher Dominic Tamez hit an RBI single with two gone in the top of the ninth. With the insurance, Ray returned to the mound with three outs to get and got two incident-free, but then walked a batter and surrendered the aforementioned game-tying shot to Hunter Hines.
The Tide could not score despite having a tenth-inning baserunner and Yeager sent the Bulldog faithful home happy.
Both teams left runners on throughout the game. McMillan worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the first. Tommy Seidl was hit by Bulldog pitching three times.
Alabama is now 13-10 on the season (1-3 SEC). They have yet to win a game on the road this season, and are 0-6 in that category. Mississippi State, meanwhile, improved to 14-9 (2-2 SEC). The teams will play on Saturday and Sunday with both games set to begin at 2 p.m. CT.