ARLINGTON, Texas — The No. 7 Mississippi State baseball team rallied to come within one run in the bottom of the ninth before ultimately dropping a 3-2 contest to No. 11 TCU Sunday afternoon in the State Farm College Baseball Showdown at Globe Life Field.
MSU (1-1, 0-0 SEC) outhit TCU 7-4, but the Horned Frogs (1-1, 0-0 Big 12) benefitted from seven walks by the MSU pitching staff. Junior Luke Hancock and senior Josh Hatcher led MSU with two hits apiece in the contest.
The Horned Frogs got on the board in the top of the first inning when junior Tommy Sacco and redshirt senior Gene Wood executed a double steal and the throw to third sailed into left field, allowing Sacco to cross home plate and give TCU a 1-0 lead.
After four scoreless innings, TCU added one to its lead in the sixth when Wood drew a walk, advanced to third on a pair of wild pitches and scored on an RBI from redshirt senior Austin Henry. In the bottom half of the sixth, MSU senior Rowdey Jordan homered to left-center to make it a 2-1 ballgame.
The Horned Frogs increased their lead to 3-1 in the top of the seventh when freshman Luke Boyers drew a one-out walk, moved up to third base on a double from freshman Elijah Nunez and scored on a sacrifice fly from Sacco.
In the bottom of the ninth, sophomore Logan Tanner got things going with a one-out double and scoring on an RBI single from Hatcher to make it 3-2. Hancock followed with a single to put runners on the corners. Graduate student Scotty Dubrule then drew a walk to load the bases, but TCU managed to get a game-ending double play to secure the 3-2 win.
Senior southpaw Houston Harding (0-1) was charged with the loss for the Bulldogs after allowing an unearned run on one hit in 3 1⁄3 innings of work. He struck out four batters and walked three.
Junior right-hander Brandon Smith tossed 2 2⁄3 innings in relief and allowed one run on one hit with two strikeouts and two walks. Senior Jaxen Forrester allowed one run on one hit with a walk and a strikeout in one inning of work.
Redshirt sophomore southpaw Russell Smith (1-0) earned the win for TCU with 5 1⁄3 innings pitched, striking out six and allowing one run on three hits.
The Bulldogs will be back on the diamond Monday when they face No. 4 Texas Tech at 11 a.m. CT.