STARKVILLE, Miss.- The second game of Alabama baseball’s series at Dudy Noble Field was not void of troubles or pressure spots, and the Crimson Tide collapsed and failed to even the series with Mississippi State. The final score was 8-7. No extra play was needed, unlike Friday’s game.


Jacob McNairy assumed the starting role for Bama and went five innings. He struck out seven and surrendered only a two-run homer to Luke Hancock in the bottom of the fourth inning. That placed Mississippi State on the board first. He put forth another strong outing as the first Bama pitcher on the bump, and head coach Brad Bohannon praised Saturday’s performance, adding that there is “a very strong chance” that he starts more regularly in the future. “He threw the ball great today.”


Alabama’s first scoring action came in the sixth inning, with Tommy Seidl hitting a single to bring home Jim Jarvis. On the next at-bat, Zane Denton sent a searing double off the wall to even the game. Dom Tamez singled to bring Denton home and give the Tide a 3-2 lead.


The Bulldogs, however, saw their first two batters of the sixth reach base. Then, one Friday hero batted in another when RJ Yeager singled to cross Hunter Hines and tie the game. Alabama reliever Jake Leger, in for McNairy, staved off further damage with a double play.


The Tide’s Andrew Pinckney put a halt to the home team’s momentum when he led off the seventh with a homer to center. State did not respond until the eighth, when Brayland Skinner found home after a two-out wild pitch from Hunter Furtado. Furtado left the bases loaded, though, and Bama’s offensive response was swift.


Pinckney led off the ninth inning with a double and scored when Caden Rose doubled him in. Jarvis scored Rose, and Seidl put on an encore when he sent Jarvis home with a double. Once again, the Tide would enter the home ninth with the advantage; this time, they led the game 7-4.


Once again, the Tide would fall short.


Furtado came back out to the mound, a move Bohannon later attributed to his game experience as part of a banged-up bullpen unit, and surrendered two straight doubles. Then, it was deja-vu as the Bulldogs delivered a game-tying two run shot, this time off the bat of catcher Logan Tanner. With all momentum now squarely in the maroon corner, and with two on, pinch-hitter Tanner Leggett singled off Hunter Hoopes with two down to walk off the game. 


“There’s nothing more demoralizing to a team than blowing a lead late,” Bohannon said. “I’m glad we get to get back out here tomorrow.”


“We need to get the last three outs tomorrow.”


Alabama’s season record dropped to 13-11 after their third straight defeat (1-4 SEC). Mississippi State reached a winning conference mark (3-2) and they are now 15-9 overall. The final game of the series is set for Sunday at 2 p.m. CT.