COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX) - No. 17 Texas A&M’s late-game rally came up shy as the Aggies dropped the series rubber match to the No. 7 Mississippi State Bulldogs, 4-3, Saturday afternoon on Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park.
The Bulldogs took the early lead, plating single runs in the first, second and fourth innings. The Aggies struck back in the sixth with a Bryce Blaum home run, but Mississippi State got what would prove to be a vital insurance run in the final frame of the seven-inning affair on a homer by Justin Foscue. The Aggies made one last charge in the home half of the seventh, plating two runs, before leaving runners on first and third on a deep fly ball to left-center by Braden Shewmake.
Aggie starter Christian Roa (2-2), was saddled with the loss. He worked 1.1 innings, allowing two runs on four hits and one walk, and fanning one. Menefee was stellar out of the bullpen, throwing 2.1 shutout innings, scattering one hit while fanning two.
Blaum and Cam Blake paced the Aggies offense. Blaum was 1-for-3 with a solo blast and Blake had an engine revving RBI triple. Ty Condel and Ty Coleman added two hits apiece.
The Aggies fall to (32-17-1) on the season and (12-11-1) in SEC play, while the Bulldogs improve to (38-10) on the season and (15-9) in SEC play.
The Aggies travel to Tuscaloosa to take on the Alabama Crimson Tide for a three-game conference series, beginning Friday with first pitch at 6:02 p.m.
T1 | Jake Mangum shot a lead-off single through the left side of the infield, and with two outs, advanced to third on a single up the middle by Elijah MacNamee. Justin Foscue kept the rally going, knocking Mangum in on a dribbler up the middle. MSU 1, A&M 0.
T2| Luke Hancock drew a one-out base on balls, and advanced to third on a double by Marshall Gilbert that just dropped out of the reach of outfielder Logan Foster, in the right-center gap. The Aggies went to the bullpen, and Mangum drove a 1-2 offering to rightfield, plating Hancock. MSU 2, A&M 0.
T4| With one out, pinch-hitter Gunner Halter laced the first pitch he saw for a double down the third base line. Jake Mangum was issued a two-out intentional walk before back-to-back walks scored Halter. MSU 3, A&M 0.
B6| With two outs, Blaum took a jab at the lead, depositing a 1-2 offering over the leftfield wall for a solo home run. MSU 3, A&M 1.
T7| Foscue blasted a two-out dinger over the left field wall. MSU 4, A&M 1.
B7| Mikey Hoehner led off with a double down the third base line, before coming in to score on a triple in the right-center gap by Cam Blake. Will Frizzell knocked in Blake with a sacrifice fly. The Aggies got the tying run on third and winning run on first with singles by Ty Coleman and Ty Condel, but were unable to complete the comeback. MSU 4, A&M 3.
TEXAS A&M QUOTES
Assistant Coach Will Bolt
On Asa Lacy’s complete-game shutout…
“We thought with a seven-inning game, the game plan was that he’s going to have a chance to go a complete game there and he was great. There was no thought of taking him out there in the seventh inning. He was amazing.”
On pitching strategy in the second game…
“The strategy in the second game was completely different. We weren’t going to be able to let the starter, Roa, go if they’re starting to get on the barrel in a seven-inning game. We had all of our bullpen available, so we weren’t going to let him get too sideways. We had a couple of good stops from the guys out in the pen.”
On the offense in both games…
“We got the one big hit in the first game and offense was hard to come by in that game. They were able to score first early in that second game of the doubleheader and we weren’t able to get anything going until the sixth or seventh inning. We made it close and we had a lot of balls hit hard in the last couple of innings.”