From the University of Alabama Athletics Department:
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The No. 19 Alabama baseball team dropped the first game of a three-game Southeastern Conference series with the 16th-ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs, 9-4, Thursday night at Sewell-Thomas Stadium. Alabama (33-20, 14-13) and Mississippi State (34-19, 17-11 SEC) will play game two of the series on Friday with first pitch scheduled for 6:06 p.m. CT, and the game televised on the CBS Sports Network.
"Mississippi State did a good job in the middle part of the game, they got on us, and we came out sluggish, especially in the front part of the game on all ends," Alabama head coach Mitch Gaspard said. "They put a lot of runs together and took advantage of a few walks, and we made some mistakes out there as well. The game kind of got out of hand at that point with a big lead. "(Geoffrey) Bramblett made his first SEC start and gave us some clean innings and an opportunity," Gaspard said. "We just didn't do a lot to get behind him. It was disappointing."
Geoffrey Bramblett (4-2) was charged with the loss for Alabama in the first SEC start of his Crimson Tide career. Bramblett allowed four runs on seven hits and two walks with four strikeouts. The winning pitcher for Mississippi State was Jacob Lindgren (5-1), who struck out one in 1.2 scoreless, hitless innings in relief of starter Trevor Fitts (4.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K).
Alabama managed seven hits for the game, highlighted by Mikey White's 2-for-5 performance with an RBI and three runs scored. Casey Hughston was 2-for-4 with a double, an RBI and a run scored and Kyle Overstreet had an RBI single in the fourth inning.
The Bulldogs were led offensively by Alex Detz, who was 2-for-4 with a career-high five RBI. C.T. Bradford was retired once in the game, as he finished 3-for-4 with two walks, three runs scored and an RBI. Brett Pirtle, Seth Heck and Jake Vickerson also posted two-hit efforts.
Mississippi State got on the board first in the third inning on a Detz RBI single to right center, but the Tide answered with a run in the next inning. After White and Ben Moore reached on a single and walk, respectively, Overstreet singled to the right center gap to drive in White from second and knot the game up at one.
The Bulldogs took the lead back with a three of runs in the top of the fifth. Vickerson led off the inning with a first-pitch single, and moved to second on a ground out. After Bradford set up men on the corners with a single to second, the Bulldogs got an RBI groundout from Detz, and then RBI singles from Pirtle and Heck to cap the top half of the inning with a 4-1 lead.
Alabama cut into the Bulldogs' lead with a run in the bottom of the frame. The Tide put men on the corners with no outs after Hughston singled and Chance Vincent reached on an error by the MSU second baseman. White reached on a fielder's choice, allowing Hughston to cross home to cut the MSU lead in half, 4-2.
Mississippi State struck for their second straight three-run inning in the top of the sixth. The Bulldogs led off with a walk from Reid Humphreys and a single from Vickerson, before moving into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt. An RBI single from Bradford, a sacrifice fly from Detz, and an RBI single from Heck made the score 7-2 in the middle of the sixth inning.
Detz drove in two more runs in the top of the seventh to make the score 9-2, then the Tide matched it with a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth. The first was conceded on a bases-loaded double play, and the second was driven in on a Hughston double to the right field corner.
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