MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Mississippi State was held hitless through the first five innings before scoring six runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and going on to beat Memphis 10-4 Tuesday night at AutoZone Park.
The Bulldogs (16-10, 3-3 SEC) scored six runs in the sixth inning, one in the seventh and three in the eighth. The Tigers (12-9, 0-0 AAC) scored one run in the third inning, two in the fourth and one in the fifth.
Hits were 8-6 in favor of Memphis. MSU was led by junior Kamren James with a 2-for-3 night at the plate with three RBIs and two runs scored. Junior Von Seibert, junior Logan Tanner and graduate student RJ Yeager each recorded one hit and one RBI.
Redshirt senior Ben Brooks led the Tigers with two hits, while redshirt senior Zach Wilson had one hit and two RBIs. Sophomores Logan Kohler and Jacob Compton both had one hit and one RBI.
Senior pitcher Brandon Smith got the start for the Bulldogs and allowed one run on three hits in three innings with three strikeouts. Junior KC Hunt then pitched the fourth inning and allowed two runs on as many hits with one walk. Senior Drew Talley surrendered a run on two hits and a walk in the fifth inning.
Sophomore Mikey Tepper (1-0) entered in the sixth and was credited with the win after allowing no runs and no hits and striking out two batters and walking one. Sophomore Jackson Fristoe pitched the final three innings, allowing just one hit, to earn his first save. He fanned four batters and walked one.
Freshman pitcher Landon Gartman started for the Tigers and pitched four hitless innings. He struck out four batters and walked two. Sophomore JT Durham (0-1) was charged with the loss after allowing five runs on two hits with two strikeouts and three walks in 1 1⁄3 innings. Memphis used seven pitchers in total.
The game began with two scoreless innings before Memphis took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning. Graduate student Blake Daniels hit a leadoff double to left-center field and Brooks followed with a single to put runners on the corners. A fielder’s choice scored Daniels.
The Tigers then rallied with two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning and came away with two runs. Redshirt senior Chris Swanberg singled to right field and sophomore Austin Baskin drew a walk. Wilson then hit a two-RBI triple to right-center to make it 3-0.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Brooks was walked and made his way to third base on sophomore Brennan DuBose’s single through the right side. Compton’s single scored Brooks to give Memphis a 4-0 lead.
The Bulldogs then exploded for six runs in the top of the sixth inning to take a 6-4 lead. Graduate student Jess Davis drew a leadoff walk and James followed with a home run to left field. After a strikeout, Tanner homered to left field to cut the deficit to one run. Freshman Hunter Hines and sophomore Kellum Clark drew back-to-back walks before senior Brad Cumbest reached first on a fielding error and Hines scored on the play. A wild pitch plated another run before an RBI groundout scored the final run of the inning.
James hit a one-out single to center field in the top of the seventh inning and senior Luke Hancock drew a walk. James and Hancock pulled off a double steal before Hines was walked to load the bases. With the bases loaded, Clark was hit by a pitch to bring in a run and increase MSU’s lead to 7-4.
In the top of the eighth inning, Yeager hit a leadoff single through the left side and senior Tanner Leggett followed with a bunt single to put runners on first and second. Seibert then hit a pinch-hit RBI single to center field before senior Brayland Skinner replaced him. James’ sacrifice fly to center field drove in Leggett before Hancock reached on an infield error and Skinner made his way to third. A wild pitch allowed Skinner to score, which ended the game’s scoring at 10-4.
The Bulldogs stay on the road to take on No. 2 Arkansas in a three-game series at Baum Stadium beginning Friday at 6:30 p.m. CT on SEC Network. The series continues Saturday at 6:30 on SEC Network+ before concluding with a 2 p.m. first pitch on Sunday on SEC Network+.