Bulldogs Use Tanner Allen Walk-Off to Take Series on Nickelblack Sunday

In the words of the Legend, Jake Mangum, “We don’t lose in Sunday blacks.” The 2021 Diamond Dawgs took that sentiment to heart today, using some more of the Nickelblack magic to walk off the Tulane Green Wave 5-4 and take the weekend series, 2 games to 1. In a back and forth affair that had its fair share of chippiness, the Bulldogs used the walkoff for the second day in a row to improve to 5-2 on the year.

Freshman hurler Jackson Fristoe got his second start of the year today for the Bulldogs, the Paducah, KY native went 4 innings, giving up 2 runs on 5 hits while striking out 7.

The 1st inning was quiet for both squads, but that changed in the top of the 2nd when Tulane drew first blood on a solo home run from Chase Engelhard to put the Green Wave on top 1-0. The Green Wave attempted to double their lead in the top of the 3rd when Collin Burns led off the inning with a triple and attempted to score on a sacrifice fly from Ethan Groff. Burns was called safe at the plate, as the throw from Tanner Allen was late, but the Mississippi State dugout indicated to catcher Luke Hancock that Burns had left early. A toss over to 3rd confirmed that, and the run was wiped off the board as Burns was called out. Tulane did add to their lead in the top of the 4th, once again utilizing the long ball. This time, it came off the bat of DH Frankie Niemann to increase the Green Wave lead to 2-0. The Bulldogs vaulted to the lead in the bottom of the 6th when Logan Tanner singled and was plated by a Luke Hancock RBI double. The Dawgs jumped on top when Kamren James deposited another ball into the left field lounge to plat both he and Hancock and put the home team on top 3-2. That score would hold until the top of the 9th when Tulane catcher Luis Aviles looked to seal the series for the Green Wave with a 2-out, 2-run home run to give the visitors a 4-3 lead. The Bulldogs headed to the bottom of the frame down a run, and the stage was set from another dose of Dudy Noble Magic. Drew McGowan led off with a walk, he then stole 2nd and Scotty Dubrule walked to put runners on 1st and 2nd. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch, and with 2 outs, Tanner Allen stepped to the plate. The senior right fielder had not had his best day, when he toed in, he was 0-4 with 3 K’s, but that all turned around on 1 pitch. On a 3-2 count, Tulane closer Keagan Gillies served Allen a fastball that he lined into the left-center gap to plate McGowan and Dubrule and send the Bulldog faithful home with smiling faces with a 5-4 victory.

Freshman Jackson Fristoe took the no decision on the day. He gave way to Graduate Senior Carlisle Koestler who went 1.2 innings, giving 0 runs on 0 hits and striking out 1. Brandon Smith pitched 2.1, giving up 0 runs on 3 hits and striking out 4. Closer Spencer Price (1-0) goes down as the winning pitcher, throwing 1 inning, giving up 2 runs on 2 hits and striking out 2.

At the plate, Kamren James hit his 3rd home run of the year on his 6th inning, 2-run jack. Luke Hancock added an RBI and Tanner Allen added 2.

Tulane closer Keagan Gillies (0-1) took the loss, and the Green Wave fell to 3-4.

 When asked postgame about ranking this moment in his Bulldog career, Tanner Allen said, “This is probably at the top.”

 The Theodore, AL native added that when Tulane opted not to make a pitching change before he stepped to the plate, “I told myself, they’re gonna pay for this.”

Allen also added, when asked about not letting an 0-4 day get to him prior to stepping in the box in the 9th, “My glove has the words “It Don’t Matter” on it, you have to tell yourself what happened before “don’t matter”.”

The Diamond Dawgs hit the road this for a midweek showdown with the Southern Miss Golden Eagles at Trustmark Park in Pearl on Tuesday. First pitch is set for 6 pm CT.

Edit: The Tuesday game against Southern Miss has been moved to Wednesday at 6 pm CT.

Recap and Box Score can be found here

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