STARKVILLE, Miss. – A three-run eighth inning by Texas A&M broke the tie, and led to the Diamond Dawgs dropping the opening game of the three-game Southeastern Conference series 6-3 Friday night at Dudy Noble Field.
MSU was coming into the game riding a four-game winning streak after a Super Bulldog Weekend sweep of Arkansas and a win against Ole Miss Tuesday in the Governor’s Cup showdown.
State dropped to 23-20 (8-11 SEC), while Texas A&M improved to 31-11 (10-9 SEC).
The Aggies jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning after Michael Helman was walked and later scored on a sac-fly from Hunter Coleman.
MSU scored two runs in the second inning to take a 2-1 lead. Josh Hatcher got things going with a one-out double, which was followed by s two-out double from Elijah MacNamee to tie the game 1-1. Marshall Gilbert then hit a double of his own to give the Dawgs a 2-1 lead.
The lead was increased to -1 in the fourth inning when Gilbert hit an RBI-single that scored Hunter Stovall, who led off with a triple.
The score would remain the same until the sixth inning when the Aggies brought the deficit within one after Will Frizzell’s groundout scored Allonte Wingate. The Aggies scored another run in the seventh inning off of a George Janca solo home run to left center and tie the game at three runs apiece.
Frizzell hit another groundout-RBI in the eighth inning to score Wingate and give A&M a 4-3 lead. The Aggies scored two more runs in the frame from a two-RBI single from Janca to give them a 6-3 win in the opening game of the series.
A&M held a 9-7 hits advantage. Gilbert led the Diamond Dawgs with two hits, while Braden Shewmake led the Aggies with three hits.
Konnor Pilkington was the starting pitcher for MSU and pitched seven innings, allowing three runs, all earned on five hits and a no-decision. He had three strikeouts and two walks.
JP France (2-2) pitched the eighth inning in relief and took the loss. He allowed three hits and three runs with a walk. Cole Gordon pitched the ninth inning.
The Aggies’ starter, Mitchell Kilkenny, pitched six innings, allowing three runs, all earned, on six hits. He struck out four batters and walked two.
Kaylor Chafin (3-0) earned the win for A&M. He pitched two shutout innings . Nolan Hoffman earned his eighth save.
The series continues today for the second game of the series with a first pitch set for 6:30 p.m. CT.