(Photo Courtesy of Mississippi State Athletics)
More than once, the SEC has been called the “League of No Mercy”, which couldn’t be more true. So, to get a series win in this conference is big, and to get a sweep is huge. That is exactly what the Bulldogs did this weekend with a Friday night win and a Saturday doubleheader sweep of the Texas A&M Aggies to sweep their 3rd SEC series of the year. When the dust settled on game 3 Saturday evening, the Bulldogs had played 30 innings (12 innings on Friday night) and dispatched a talented Aggie team back to College Station winless.
Will Bednar (4-1) drew the start in game 2 and continued to be dominant. The sophomore went 5 innings, giving up just 1 run on 5 hits while fanning 7. He was followed by Brandon Smith, Cam Tullar, and Stone Simmons (2). The Bulldog pitchers combined to give up 2 runs on 7 hits and fan 10.
The Diamond Dawgs struck first in game 2 when Scotty Dubrule drew a walk and advanced to 3rd before scoring on a wild pitch to put the home team on top 1-0. The Boys in Maroon would add 2 more in the bottom of the 5th when Luke Hancock singled, advanced to second, and scored on a fielding error. A sacrifice fly scored Logan Tanner, who had walked, to extend the Bulldog lead to 3-0. The Aggies began a comeback with a solo home run in the top of the 6th and an RBI double in the top of the 7th to make the score 3-2 in favor of the home team. That’s where the score would hold as the Bulldogs took game 2 and the series.
Offensively in game 2, Rowdey Jordan reached base 3 times, all on walks. Tanner Allen continued his hot streak, going 2-5. Luke Hancock went 2-4, and Kamren James and Scotty Dubrule each pitched in a hit.
On the mound, Cam Tullar made his second appearance in as many games, going 0.2 innings and slamming the door on the aggies.
Game 3 saw much more production at the plate for both sides as the Bulldogs took the finale 10-5. For the first time all weekend, the Bulldogs won a game by more than a run and were able to breath going into the 9th inning.
Jackson Fristoe drew the game 3 start and didn’t have his greatest outing. The freshman only lasted 2 innings, giving up 3 runs on 6 hits while fanning 3. He was followed by Houston Harding (5-1) who stole the show on the bump. The senior from Walls, MS went 5 scoreless innings, giving up only 4 hits and fanning 3. Following Harding’s departure, Mikey Tepper and Chase Patrick were called upon to carry the Bulldogs through the 8th and 9th, but neither were able to get out of the 8th. Tepper walked 2 batters and gave up 2 runs in just 0.1 innings and Patrick gave up a hit and a walk before being lifted by a rather agitated Chris Lemonis. The Diamond Dawgs once again turned to their weekend workhorse, Cam Tullar (1), who pitched 1.2 innings and sewed up the sweep. That appearance was Tullar’s third in as many games.
The Aggies struck first in game 3 with 2 runs in the top of the 2nd on back-to-back RBI singles to take a 2-0 lead. The Boys in Maroon would knot the contest up in the bottom of the 2nd when Scotty Dubrule reached on a fielder’s choice before Brad “Mule” Cumbest deposited a ball into the lounge to make it a 2-2 ballgame.
A&M would take the lead right back in the top of the 3rd on an RBI single to go up 3-2, but the Bulldogs once again knotted the contest in the bottom of the 3rd. Tanner Allen singled and advanced around the bases before scoring on a Luke Hancock single to knot things a 3. The Boys in Maroon would take the lead for good in the bottom of the 4th. Brad Cumbest kept his hot streak alive with a single and a stolen base before scoring on a Lane Forsythe double. Rowdey Jordan then singled to score Forsythe and put the Bulldogs on top 5-3. The Boys in Maroon would add 4 more in the bottom of the 7th when Logan Tanner reached on a fielding error, and then back-to-back-to-back singles scored 2 runs. Lane Forsythe reached on a fielder’s choice that loaded the bases, and Rowdey Jordan singled to score 2 more and make it a 9-3 ballgame.
The Aggies scored 2 in the top of the 8th as the Bulldogs struggled with the bullpen. A&M scored on an RBI single and a sacrifice fly to make it a 9-5 ballgame. The Bulldogs would add one more run in the bottom of the 8th on back-to-back singles and back-to-back walks to make it a 10-5 final and send the Bulldog faithful home from a long day at The Carnegie Hall of College Baseball with smiles on their faces and a series sweep.
Offensively, Brad Cumbest had a banner day, going 3-4 with a home run and 3 RBIs. Logan Tanner had a 3 hit day and Rowdey Jordan, Tanner Allen, and Tanner Leggett each had 2 hit days. Rowdey had 3 RBIs and Tanner Leggett had 2.
The win shirt for game 3 went to Houston Harding for his lights out performance out of the bullpen.
Box Score and Recap can be found here:
The Bulldogs hit the road this week for a midweek game at Coach Chris Lemonis’s alma mater The Citadel on Wednesday. First pitch is set for 6pm CT. Following the midweek tilt, the Bulldogs continue to Columbia, SC for a 3-game set against the Gamecocks.
At this point, the music section of this article may just be for my entertainment, you guys may not even give it a look. Nonetheless, here’s some Hootie and the Blowfish in honor of Houston “Hootie” Harding.