STARKVILLE, Miss. — With the bases loaded, Mississippi State junior Luke Hancock left no doubt when he squared up on a pitch and crushed it over the right field fence at Dudy Noble Field to give the Bulldogs a 9-5 win against the Tulane Green Wave on Saturday night to even the three-game series.
MSU (4-2, 0-0 SEC) erupted for six runs total in the ninth inning. Senior Rowdey Jordan got things going in the inning with a leadoff single. Graduate student Scotty Dubrule followed with a single before senior Tanner Allen was walked to load the bases. Sophomore Logan Tanner tied the game with a two-RBI single to left-center. Senior Josh Hatcher was intentionally walked to load the bases before Hancock’s blast had the Bulldogs walking off to a victory.
Hits were tied at 10-10 between the squads. Dubrule, Allen and sophomore Kamren James all recorded two hits apiece for MSU.
Junior right-hander Eric Cerantola pitched in his season debut for the Bulldogs and allowed three runs on four hits in 2 1⁄3 innings. He struck out three batters and walked three.
Sophomore righty Landon Sims then tossed 3 2⁄3 innings, allowing one run on three hits with 10 strikeouts and two walks. Senior southpaw Houston Harding then handled the seventh and eighth innings and allowed one run on two hits with two strikeouts.
Sophomore right-hander Stone Simmons (1-0) earned the win for the Bulldogs after pitching a one-hit ninth inning.
Right-handed graduate student pitcher Trent Johnson (0-1) was charged with the loss for the Green Wave after surrendering six runs in two innings.
The Green Wave (3-3, 0-0 AAC) took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Cerantola walked redshirt freshman Ethan Groff to start the game. He scored on an RBI single from redshirt sophomore Jared Hart. In the bottom half, Dubrule drew a one-out walk and Allen followed with a home run to left field to give MSU a 2-1 lead.
In the second inning, Cerantola hit back-to-back batters and walked the third to load the bases. He struck out two straight batters, but a two-RBI single from redshirt junior Trevor Minder knocked in two Tulane runs to give the Green Wave a 3-2 lead.
Tulane added one to its lead in the top of the sixth when redshirt junior Haydan Hastings drew a walk, stole second and scored on an RBI double from freshman Chase Engelhard. In the bottom half, a home run from James to left-center made it a 4-3 ballgame in favor the Green Wave.
The Green Wave’s fifth and final run came in the eighth inning when Engelhard homered to left field to make it 5-3.
MSU then scored six runs on four hits to secure the 9-5 win.
The Bulldogs and Green Wave will close out the series Sunday with a noon CT rubber match at Dudy Noble Field. It will air on SEC Network+.