Diamond Dawgs drop opener to No. 18 Texas A&M

MSU fell to 23-20 and 8-11.

Posted: Apr 27, 2018 11:38 PM

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA/MSU Athletics) – A three-run eighth inning cost the Mississippi State baseball team a shot at victory in the opening game of a three-game Southeastern Conference series Friday night.

Texas A&M used that inning to break a tie and to record a 6-3 victory at Dudy Noble Field.

MSU had taken the series opener against both Ole Miss and Arkansas at home. However, the Aggies rallied from a 3-1 deficit to halt the Bulldogs’ overall winning streak at four games.

Texas A&M improved to 31-11 overall and 10-9 in league play, while MSU fell to 23-20 and 8-11.

“We were competitive for seven innings and then things got away from us in the top of the eighth inning,” MSU head coach Gary Henderson said. “In the eighth inning, we didn’t make a couple of pitches we needed to make and a couple of plays we needed to make. Overall, we had real competitive at-bats through the first seven innings of the game.”

“On a Friday night in this league, you are normally not going to get a lot of runs. We had a lead and weren’t able to extend it.”

MSU erased an early 1-0 deficit by scoring twice in the second inning.

In that inning, Josh Hatcher started things with a one-out double. Elijah MacNamee followed with a two-out double to right center to tie the game 1-1. Marshall Gilbert followed with an RBI-double to right field for a 2-1 lead.

In the fourth inning, Hunter Stovall hit a leadoff triple. After a pair of strikeouts and a walk, Gilbert connected for an RBI-single for the Bulldogs’ last run.

Texas A&M rallied with single scores in the sixth and seventh innings. The Aggies then took control of the contest with the three-run eighth inning.

Gilbert was the lone multiple hitter for the Bulldogs, who finished with seven hits.

Konnor Pilkington drew the start and worked seven innings for the Bulldogs. Pilkington allowed five hits and three runs (all earned), with thee strikeouts and two walks. JP France (2-2) threw the eighth inning and took the loss. France allowed three hits and three runs (all earned) with a walk. Cole Gordon threw the ninth inning.

Kaylor Chafin (3-0) picked up the win with two innings of relief work for the Aggies. Nolan Hoffman earned his eighth save.

Braden Shewmake had three of the Aggies’ nine hits. George Janca had two hits, including the game-tying home run in the seventh inning. Allonte Wingate also had two hits.

The action will resume with another 6:30 p.m. CT first pitch on Saturday, with the game to air live on SEC Network+ via WatchESPN.com and the Watch ESPN app. Tickets remain available for purchase at HailState.com/tickets.

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