No. 2 Mississippi State Baseball Drops Series Finale at South Carolina in Extra Innings
COLUMBIA, S.C. – It was a game of momentum swings and for the first time this season the No. 2 Mississippi State baseball program lost a game when leading after eight innings, as No. 12 South Carolina tied the game in the ninth and won it with a walk-off double in the 11th inning to take a 4-3 victory in the series finale at Founders Park.
The Diamond Dawgs won their sixth SEC series in eight tries in 2021 and posted its 10 winning weekend of the season. State is now 30-1 when leading after eight innings this season and 6-2 in one-run games.
South Carolina (28-17, 12-12 SEC) jumped on the board with a two-run home run in the second, but Mississippi State (35-11, 16-8 SEC) used single runs in the third, fifth and sixth innings to grab a 3-2 lead. The Gamecocks then plated one in the ninth inning send the game to extra innings and avoided the sweep with a walk-off double in the 11th inning.
Both teams stranded double-digit base runners, with State leaving 13 runners aboard and USC stranding 16 in the game. Neither starting pitcher factored into the decision with MSU’s Jackson Fristoe throwing three innings and allowing two runs on one hit with four walks and four strikeouts. South Carolina’s Thomas Farr allowed two runs on five hits with two walks and two strikeouts.
Rowdey Jordan moved his reached base streak to 31 games, which is tied for the fifth-longest streak since 2009 at MSU with Elijah MacNamee (2018). He also moved his hitting streak to five games with his 22nd career home run.
Tanner Allen became the second player in Mississippi State history to collect 50 doubles, 20 home runs and 10 triples in a career when he hit his fifth inning home run. The home run was the 20th of his career and moved his hitting streak to nine games.
A three-hit game for Logan Tanner pushed his hitting streak to five games and reached base streak to nine. Kellum Clark posted his second career multi-hit game with a triple and single, and he added a walk and run scored.
The seventh MSU pitcher of the afternoon, Brandon Smith (4-2) took the tough-luck loss, as he worked out of the bases loaded jam in the ninth, just to see the Gamecocks walk it off in the 11th. Smith allowed the one run on three hits, didn’t walk a batter and struck out three.
Brett Kerry entered in a tie game in the fifth inning with no outs and the bases empty and allowed just one run on four hits over the next six innings keep the Gamecocks in the game. He struck out five and walked two before being replaced in the 11th inning. Julian Bosnic (3-2) picked up the victory with a scoreless inning of work.
Head coach Chris Lemonis
On the bullpen
They [kept us in the game]. We have to do more offensively, and you have to tip your hat to their bullpen, they had their top two guys out there [today]. They pitched well there at the end of the game. They get a tapped ball and then a ball in the gap. They made the plays late. I’m proud of our guys, but I’m disappointed we didn’t win today. I thought we could do a little more, but the reality is we’re playing good baseball. Sometimes the game just doesn’t play you the right way.
After a leadoff hit-by-pitch to Josiah Sightler, David Mendham hit a two-run home run to open the scoring for South Carolina
South Carolina 2, Mississippi State 0
Kellum Clark tripled off the top of the wall in right field and came in to score on a one-out sacrifice fly from Kamren James.
South Carolina 2, Mississippi State 1
Tanner Allen led off the inning with a solo home run to tie the game at two apiece.
Mississippi State 2, South Carolina 2
Rowdey Jordan hit a one-out, solo home run to give Mississippi State its first lead of the game.
Mississippi State 3, South Carolina 2
The Gamecocks got back-to-back singles to start the inning before a popped up bunt accounted for the first out. A double from pinch hitter Jeff Heinrich scored the game-tying run, before MSU’s Brandon Smith struck out two batters with the bases loaded to send it to extra innings.
Mississippi State 3, South Carolina 3
A one-out single from Heinrich was followed by the game-winning, RBI double to left-center field for Mendham.
South Carolina 4, Mississippi State 3
With two weeks left in the regular season, Mississippi State will kick off a five-game homestand with a midweek contest against UT Martin on Tuesday, May 11 at 6:30. The ninth weekend of SEC play will bring Missouri to Dudy Noble Field for a three-game series, which begins on Thursday, May 13 at 7:30 p.m. CT on ESPNU.