STARKVILLE, Miss. — No. 5 Mississippi State baseball trailed the Memphis Tigers 7-0 after the top of the first inning, but some timely hitting fueled the Dawgs to a 10-9 win Wednesday night at Dudy Noble Field.
MSU erased the five-run deficit in the fifth inning, and took an 8-7 lead in the sixth inning, but Memphis clawed back to take a 9-8 lead in the seventh inning before senior Elijah MacNamee smashed a two-run double to right center in the eighth inning to give State a 10-9 game-winning lead.
With the win, the Diamond Dawgs improve to 39-10, including 13-0 in midweek games. Memphis falls to 25-22 on the year.
Back-to-back walks surrendered by junior right-hander Keegan James began the top of the first inning before Tiger freshman Hunter Goodman’s single made it 1-0. Another walk surrendered loaded the bases for senior Kyle Ouellette, who hit a two-RBI single down the left field line. James then walked another batter to load the bases before handing things to freshman Brandon Smith with no outs in the inning. Smith allowed a double from junior Alec Trela, which scored two runs before two more runs came across to score on a two-RBI single from redshirt-senior Cale Hennemann to give Memphis a 7-0 lead.
State added a run in the bottom half of the first when sophomore Jordan Westburg drew a one-out walk and came around to score after a single from Tanner Allen moved him to second, a throwing error allowed him to advance to third and a ground out scored him.
The Dawgs managed three runs in the second inning to draw within three runs. Sophomore Rowdey Jordan led off the inning by drawing a walk. After a strikeout, Jordan advanced to second on a failed pickoff attempt. Freshman Luke Hancock then drew a walk to put runners on first and second. Senior Marshall Gilbert made it a 7-4 with a three-run home run to left center.
The score remained the same until the fifth inning when MSU scored three runs to complete the comeback. Allen led off the inning with a single through the right side. MacNamee then doubled to put runners on second and third. Sophomore Justin Foscue knocked in a run with an RBI single through the left side before a sacrifice fly scored Jordan and made it a 7-6 ballgame. Junior Dustin Skelton then singled, and Foscue moved up all the way to third on a throwing error on the play. A sacrifice fly from Hancock knotted things up at 7-7.
Senior Jake Mangum hit a leadoff single in the bottom of the sixth inning. He moved to second base on a flyout before Allen’s single to left center scored him and gave the Diamond Dawgs an 8-7 lead.
The top of the seventh inning began with Memphis’ Colton Neel drawing a walk. After a strikeout, redshirt-junior Nick Vaage drew a walk to put two runners on base for the Tigers. A strikeout followed, but a big-time two-RBI single from senior Payton Marshall allowed Memphis to regain a 9-8 lead after seven innings of play.
The eighth inning began with Mangum reaching first on a single through the left side. He then advanced to second on a wild pitch before Allen was intentionally walked to put runners on first and second with just one out. MacNamee was the hero of the night after driving in the game-winning runs with a two-RBI double hit to the gap to give MSU a 10-9 win.
MSU outhit Memphis 14-7. Allen led the squad with a 4-for-4 performance, including two runs scored and one RBI. Mangum was 3-for-5 with two runs scored in the contest. Gilbert and MacNamee also proved to be valuable by producing three RBIs apiece on two hits.
Five relievers combined to throw nine innings for the Dawgs. They allowed just three runs on four hits.
Smith tossed three innings where he allowed one run on three hits and struck out three batters. Junior righty Riley Self then pitched two innings where he allowed one hit, struck out one batter and walked one batter. Junior southpaw Jack Eagan pitched a clean sixth inning where he struck out one batter. Redshirt-junior right-hander Trysten Barlow allowed two runs on one hit in one inning of work. He fanned three batters and walked two batters. Graduate student Cole Gordon (4-0) threw the final two innings to earn his fourth win of the season. He sent down all six batters he faced, including two strikeouts.
Junior Joshua Scheer (2-2) was charged with the Memphis loss after coming into the game in the eighth inning. He allowed two runs on one hit in two-thirds of an inning. He surrendered one walk.
The Diamond Dawgs will now travel to Oxford, Mississippi to face rival Ole Miss for their final road trip of the season. The three-game series begins Friday at 6:30 p.m. CT. The middle game is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Saturday with the series finale at Noon on Sunday. Friday and Saturday’s games will be televised by SEC Network+ with Sunday’s game being televised by ESPN2.