Baseball slips late, loses in extra innings Friday at Mississippi State

Austin Hannon, Staff Reporter

“It’s really hard to close games out on the road,” Alabama head coach Brad Bohannon said earlier in the week. “I think you saw that from a great Florida team this week. They had a hard time closing out Friday and Sunday games against us. If we have a lead late, it’ll be hard for us to close the games out in Starkville.”

Bohannon’s worst nightmare became true in the Crimson Tide’s frustrating 7-6 loss to the Mississippi State Bulldogs Friday night at Dudy Noble Field.

Alabama led the Bulldogs 5-1 in the seventh inning. That lead was cut to one in the bottom of the inning when right fielder Kellum Clark hit a three-run shot to left field.

The Crimson Tide added an insurance run in the top of the ninth, when catcher Dominic Tamez delivered a two-out base hit to increase the Alabama advantage to 6-4.

But once again, Mississippi State delivered. The Bulldogs were down to their final out when designated hitter Hunter Hines tied the game on a two-run blast.

After the Crimson Tide was held scoreless in the 10th, Mississippi State decided to take a trip to the right-field terrace one more time. Second baseman RJ Yeager rocked a pitch from Alabama’s Dylan Ray, flipping his bat en route to a walk-off win in game one of the weekend series.

Right-hander Garrett McMillan gave the Crimson Tide everything they could have asked for. McMillan stepped up on the mound, going 5.1 innings, allowing just one run and striking out six.

Everyone except for second baseman Bryce Eblin recorded at least one hit for Alabama. Center fielder Caden Rose had two.

“We competed really well tonight,” Bohannon said. “We certainly made plenty of mistakes, but the kids competed well and did some good things. Garrett McMillan really battled through some traffic. Brock Guffey did a good job before he got hurt. We finally got some big hits with runners in scoring position – Caden Rose had a huge double; Owen Diodati had a huge double; and Dominic Tamez got a big two-out RBI in the ninth.” 

Saturday’s first pitch is set for 2 p.m. CT on SEC Network+. Jacob McNairy (3.26 ERA) will be on the mound for the Crimson Tide.