KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The No. 8 Mississippi State baseball team managed just one run in seven innings against Tennessee, but a run in the eighth inning and four runs in the 11th inning proved to be the difference, as the Diamond Dawgs went on to win the opening game of the Southeastern Conference series, 6-3, Friday night at Lindsey Nelson Field.
MSU improves to 26-5 (6-4 SEC), while Tennessee falls to 22-9 (3-7 SEC).
Senior Jake Mangum recorded four hits in the game, giving him 337 career hits, and making him the all-time career hits leader in Mississippi State baseball history. He also tallied two RBIs and two runs. Senior Elijah MacNamee was 2-for-3 and also knocked in two runs.
MSU took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. After Mangum doubled, he stole third. A two-out double from MacNamee plated him. The Volunteers responded with two runs in their half of the first to take a 2-1 lead. Junior Jay Charleston singled before a double from junior Andre Lipcius put runners on second and third. An RBI bunt from sophomore Alerick Soularie scored one run and an RBI single from junior Ricky Martinez scored the other.
The score remained the same until the top of the eighth inning when the Dawgs knotted things up at 2-2. Mangum and sophomore Rowdey Jordan hit back-to-back singles before sophomore Jordan Westburg drew a walk to load the bases. MacNamee then worked a bases-loaded walk to tie the game.
The score remained the same until the 11th inning when State took a 6-2 lead. MacNamee drew a one-out walk, which was followed by a single from sophomore Justin Foscue. Foscue advanced to second on a wild pitch and MacNamee scored on the play. A single from sophomore Tanner Allen scored Foscue. A single from freshman Brad Cumbest put runners on the corners before senior Marshall Gilbert drew a walk to load the bases. Mangum followed up with a two-RBI single to left field.
The Volunteers got a run back in the bottom of the 11th on an RBI double from junior Pete Derkay to make it 6-3, but back-back fly outs sealed the game for MSU.
Redshirt-junior Ethan Small pitched seven innings and allowed two runs on seven hits. He struck out 11 batters and didn’t walk a batter.
Senior Jared Liebelt then pitched two scoreless innings on just one hit. Redshirt-junior Trysten Barlow (2-1) pitched a perfect 10th inning to earn his second win of the season. Graduate student Cole Gordon then pitched the 11th inning, and allowed a run on two hits.
Junior Garrett Stallings pitched 7 2⁄3 innings for Tennessee. He allowed two runs on six hits and struck out seven batters. Sophomore Garrett Crochet (3-2) was charged with the Volunteers’ loss after allowing four runs in three innings of work.
Game two of the series is set for 5 p.m. CT on Saturday at Lindsey Nelson Field. The game will be televised by SEC Network.