STARKVILLE, Miss. — Mississippi State’s Tanner Allen hit a leadoff home run in the bottom of the 12th to give the fifth-ranked Bulldogs an 8-7 walk-off victory over Texas A&M in the opener of their Southeastern Conference baseball series Friday night.
The Bulldogs (30-10, 12-7), who trailed 7-3 after the top of the seventh, tied the game in the bottom of the ninth. Lane Forsythe’s sacrifice fly scored Brad Cumbest, who opened the inning with a double off Joseph Menefee and moved to third on a groundout.
A&M (24-20, 5-14) escaped a bases-loaded jam in the 10th as right-handed reliever Alex Magers came in and induced Brayland Skinner to ground out. Magers worked a perfect 11th inning, but in the 12th Allen belted a 2-0 pitch over the right-field fence. Allen led Mississippi State’s 14-hit attack with a 4-for-7 effort that included three runs scored. Luke Hancock, Rowdey Jordan and Scotty Dubrule each had two hits.
A&M took a 4-3 lead in the sixth on Ray Alejo’s RBI single as the Aggies turned a leadoff single by Ty Coleman into a run, taking advantage of a throwing error by Mississippi State catcher Logan Tanner. The Aggies increased their lead to 7-3 in the seventh. Brett Minnich hit a pinch-hit solo home run, and Bryce Blaum added a two-run homer.
It took Mississippi State only three batters in the bottom of the seventh to pull within 7-6. A&M left-handed reliever Chandler Jozwiak walked Kamren James. Hancock singled and Logan Tanner hit a three-run homer on the first pitch of the at-bat.
Landon Sims (3-0), Mississippi State’s eighth pitcher, worked three hitless innings for the victory. He struck out seven with one walk. Magers (2-2) was tagged with the loss. A&M’s fourth pitcher allowed only one hit in 1 1/3 innings with two strikeouts and no walks.
A&M had 12 hits with Alejo and Britt each having three. Blaum added two.