STARKVILLE, Miss. — Senior Tanner Allen delivered a walk-off home run in the 12th inning as the No. 5 Bulldogs defeated Texas A&M 8-7 on Friday night in the first game of a three-game series at Dudy Noble Field.
With the win, the Bulldogs improve to 30-10 (12-7 SEC), while the Aggies fall to 24-20 (5-14 SEC).
MSU compiled 14 hits but left 15 runners stranded. Allen led the way with four hits, three runs and two RBIs. Senior Rowdey Jordan, junior Luke Hancock and graduate student Scotty Dubrule each recorded two hits apiece. Sophomore Logan Tanner finished with one hit, three RBIs and one run.
Junior starting pitcher Christian MacLeod was lifted in the fifth inning after allowing three runs (two earned) on seven hits with three strikeouts. Junior Preston Johnson then allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits with four strikeouts in 2 1⁄3 innings.
Sophomore closer Landon Sims (3-0) earned the win after pitching three shutout innings with seven strikeouts and one walk.
Texas A&M starting pitcher Dustin Saenz tossed 5 2⁄3 innings and allowed three runs on nine hits with eight strikeouts and one walk. Sophomore Alex Magers (2-2) was charged with the loss after tossing 1 1⁄3 innings and allowing the game-ending home run.
The Bulldogs took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when Allen hit a one-out single, advanced to second when sophomore Kamren James drew a walk and scored on Hancock’s RBI single to center field.
After back-to-back strikeouts began the bottom of the second inning, Jordan singled to left field. Allen followed with an RBI double to left-center field to increase the MSU lead to 2-0.
The Aggies then took a 3-2 lead in the top of the fourth inning. A pair of singles by sophomore Logan Britt and senior Bryce Blaum put runners on the corners. A two-base throwing error by James then tied the game at 2-2. A single up the middle by graduate student Mikey Hoehner put runners on the corners again before an RBI bunt single by graduate student Ray Alejo made it 3-2.
Allen and James led off the bottom of the fifth inning with singles to put runners on the corners. Hancock’s RBI groundout knotted the game at 3-3.
The Aggies would regain the lead at 4-3 in the top of the sixth inning. Hoehner reached on a fielder’s choice before he stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by Tanner. Alejo’s single to left field scored him.
Texas A&M increased its lead to 7-3 in the top of the seventh inning thanks to a pinch-hit home run by junior Brett Minnich and a two-run home run from Blaum. In the bottom half, James drew a leadoff walk before Hancock singled up the middle. Tanner followed with a three-run blast to right field to make it a 7-6 ballgame.
In the bottom of the ninth inning, junior Brad Cumbest hit a leadoff double to left field. A groundout moved him up 90 feet before freshman Lane Forsythe scored him on a sacrifice fly to tie things at 7-7 after nine innings.
The Bulldogs loaded the bases in the 10th inning but failed to bring a run across. After a quick 11th inning, Allen led off with a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 12th inning to send the Bulldogs home with a win.
The Bulldogs and Aggies will return to the diamond Saturday for a doubleheader to end the series. The two nine-inning games are scheduled for 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.