FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The Mississippi State baseball team came away with a 5-3 extra-inning win over No. 2 Arkansas on Sunday at Baum-Walker Stadium to avoid a series sweep.
With the win, the Bulldogs improve to 17-12 (4-5 SEC) and snap an eight-game losing streak to the Razorbacks (21-5, 7-2 SEC).
MSU was led by senior Luke Hancock, who finished 3-for-6 with two RBIs and one run. He also made a game-saving double play in the bottom of the 11th inning that prevented Arkansas from walking it off. He followed that up with a go-ahead RBI single in the top of the 12th inning. Junior Logan Tanner was 2-for-5 with two RBIs and a run, while graduate student RJ Yeager added two hits, one RBI and one run.
Arkansas was 0-for-13 with runners in scoring position. Graduate student Braydon Webb was the lone Razorback to collect multiple hits as he finished 2-for-3 with one RBI and one run.
Sophomore pitcher Cade Smith started for MSU and pitched five innings, allowing two runs on four hits with six strikeouts and one walk. Sophomore Brooks Auger entered in the sixth inning and limited Arkansas to one run on three hits with three strikeouts and three walks in 3 1⁄3 innings. Sophomore Jackson Fristoe (3-2) earned the win after holding the Razorbacks scoreless over the final 3 2⁄3 innings and striking out four batters with one walk.
Sophomore Jaxon Wiggins started for Arkansas and allowed two runs on four hits with five strikeouts and one walk. Senior Evan Taylor then pitched an inning and allowed one run with two strikeouts before redshirt senior Zebulon Vermillion pitched a scoreless seventh inning. Freshman Brady Tygart then pitched 3 2⁄3 scoreless innings with seven strikeouts and one walk. Redshirt senior Kole Ramage (0-2) was charged with the loss after allowing two runs on two hits.
MSU took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning when Hancock homered to right field. A leadoff home run by Yeager in the top of the third inning added one to the Bulldogs’ lead. The Razorbacks cut MSU’s lead in half in the bottom of the third inning thanks to a leadoff home run by redshirt junior Zack Gregory to make it a 2-1 ballgame before Webb’s home run in the bottom of the fourth inning knotted things at 2-2.
The teams traded runs in the sixth inning to keep things tied at 3-3. MSU’s run came on a home run from Tanner, while Arkansas’ run came when graduate student Chris Lanzilli hit a leadoff single, advanced to second on a walk, advanced to third on a groundout and scored on a sacrifice fly.
MSU and Arkansas exchanged zeroes for the next five innings. Then in the top of the 12th inning, senior Tanner Leggett was hit by a pitch. He advanced to second on a flyout before junior Kamren James drew a one-out walk. Hancock’s single scored Leggett before Tanner’s single scored James to end the game’s scoring at 5-3.
The Bulldogs will be back on the diamond Tuesday when they host UT Martin at Dudy Noble Field at 6 p.m. CT on SEC Network+.