FRISCO, Texas — Sophomore Justin Foscue’s game-winning run lifted No. 9 Mississippi State baseball to a 5-4 win over Sam Houston State in the opening game of the Frisco Classic at Dr Pepper Ballpark Friday evening.
With the win MSU improves to 9-1, while Sam Houston State falls to 5-3.
The Dawgs took an early 2-0 lead in the back-and-forth contest in the fourth inning. Sophomore Tanner Allen began the inning with a leadoff single to right field and senior Elijah MacNamee followed up with an RBI-double. On the next pitch, Foscue singled to left field to score MacNamee and give the Bulldogs a 2-0 advantage.
The Bearkats responded with two runs in the top of the sixth inning to tie things up at 2-2. Freshman Colton Cowser doubled and later moved up to third on a ground out, before coming around to score on a single by senior Clayton Harp. Another single put runners on the corners with two down, before sophomore Eric Bohnert drove in the game-tying run with the third-straight single.
After the Dawgs managed two quick outs to begin the top of the seventh inning, a throwing error put a Bearkat on base. Cowser followed that up with a single before senior Hunter Hearn delivered with a two-RBI triple to give Sam Houston State a 4-2 lead. The Diamond Dawgs quickly answered with two runs of their own in the bottom of the seventh inning, as freshman Hayden Jones started things with a double to center field and junior Gunner Halter singled to put runners on the corners for senior Jake Mangum. Mangum answered with an RBI single. Halter then scored the tying run on a sacrifice fly.
All tied up at 4-4 in the bottom of the eighth inning, Foscue hit a double down the left-field line. Junior Dustin Skelton then hit a ball up the middle that was mishandled by the Bearkat shortstop, allowing Foscue to score from second and give the Dawgs a 5-4 win.
Starting pitcher Ethan Small threw six strikeouts in six innings of work in a no decision. He allowed two runs on seven hits and didn’t walk a batter. Senior right-hander Jared Liebelt was the first pitcher to come in relief. He threw 1 2⁄3 innings and struck out one batter. He allowed two unearned runs on three hits. Redshirt-junior southpaw Trysten Barlow (1-1) got the final out of the eighth inning and earned the win. He struck out one batter.
Graduate student Cole Gordon came in to close it out in the ninth for his second save of the year. He allowed one hit and struck out one batter.
Senior righty Riley Gossett (0-1) allowed one run on one hit. He is charged with the Bearkat loss.
For MSU, Foscue and Mangum each chipped in multi-hit games, with Foscue compiling three hits and Mangum chipping in with two.
The Dawgs will continue play in the Frisco Classic with a game against No. 8 Texas Tech at Dr Pepper Ballpark at 4 p.m. CT on Saturday.