Texas A&M baseball bests Mississippi State

Published 12:12 am Saturday, April 16, 2016

Mississippi State had momentum. It had homefield advantage. It had its ace on the mound.

In the end, it did not have a win.

Texas A&M scored six runs in the top of the ninth inning to blow open a close game, and beat Mississippi State 10-3 in the opener of a three-game series Friday night at Dudy Noble Field.

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Mississippi State (24-10-1, 8-5 Southeastern Conference) fell into a tie for the SEC West lead with Texas A&M (27-7, 8-5).

With 10,032 fans in attendance, the top two pitchers in the SEC went head-to-head. Texas A&M’s Brigham Hill allowed two runs and struck out eight in 6 2/3 innings.

Mississippi State’s Dakota Hudson allowed four runs in seven innings. Hudson struck out eight and walked one, but gave up 10 hits. He left the game with the Bulldogs trailing 4-2, and it got away from the bullpen.

Two hit batters helped bring in a run and loaded the bases for the Aggies in the ninth. Nick Banks hit a grand slam that put them up 9-3. Another hit batter and a sacrifice fly by Michael Barash brought in the final run.

In all, three Mississippi State relievers combined to allow six runs on three hits in the ninth inning. They hit three batters and threw one wild pitch.

“We had some young people on the mound and that made it tough,” Mississippi State coach John Cohen said. “It’s frustrating because we thought we had some good matchups. They are the best offensive team in the league. You just have to pitch to them. We hung in there and battled. You can’t hit people and walk people. We did late and that hurt us.”

Banks finished the game 3-for-5 a home run, two doubles, four RBIs and two runs scored. Hunter Melton also homered and was 3-for-5 with two RBIs and two runs scored.

Jake Mangum had three hits for Mississippi State. Nathaniel Lowe and Brent Rooker had two each.


Ole Miss 4, Alabama 0

Brady Bramlett, Will Stokes and Wyatt Short combined on a four-hit shutout, and Ole Miss (26-8, 7-6 SEC) beat Alabama (20-14, 7-6) in their series opener in Tuscaloosa.

Bramlett (6-2) allowed three hits and three walks in six innings for the Rebels. He struck out six, and Short struck out three while working the last two innings for his sixth save. Stokes pitched the seventh inning.

Tate Blackman doubled and scored two runs for Ole Miss, which only had five hits in the game. Ole Miss scored an unearned run in the third inning, then three in the ninth to blow it open. Blackman doubled and scored on an infield single in the ninth inning, and Errol Robinson had an RBI single.

Alabama pitcher Geoffrey Bramblett allowed the one unearned run on two hits in seven strong innings, but took the loss. Bramblett (3-2) walked three batters and struck out eight.


UAB 5, Southern Miss 3

Jared Nixon hit for the cycle and drove in the go-ahead run with a triple in the sixth inning, as UAB (13-21, 5-8 Conference USA) beat Southern Miss (26-9, 11-2).

Southern Miss’ 10-game C-USA winning streak was snapped. It had swept its last three weekend series.

Nixon also homered in the fifth inning as UAB rallied from a 3-0 deficit. He singled in the first and doubled in the eighth to complete the cycle. He’s the first UAB player to hit for the cycle since Matt Womble in 2002.

Carter Pharis had an RBI triple, while Riley McCown and Adam Smith had RBI singles for UAB.

The Blazers finished with 16 hits. Seven players had multiple hits.

Michael Gilbert was 2-for-3 with two RBIs for Southern Miss.