Alabama dropped the second game of a doubleheader to No. 15 Mississippi State, 5-4, after the Bulldogs' Jacob Robson delivered a walk-off RBI single with one out in the bottom of the 10th inning. The one-run victory in the nightcap completed the doubleheader sweep as the Bulldogs clinched the series win over the Crimson Tide.
In the bottom of the 10th inning, Trey Porter drew a leadoff walk before being pulled for pinch runner Matthew Britton. Sam Frost followed with a bunt single, and then a sacrifice bunt by Mitch Slauter put runners on second and third with one out for Robson. Robson's third hit of the game was a sharp single up the middle on a 0-1 pitch from Ray Castillo that drove in Britton for the game-winning run.
The Tide (27-20, 11-11 SEC) and Bulldogs (35-13, 12-11 SEC) will complete the three-game SEC series on Sunday, with first pitch scheduled for 1:37 p.m. CST. The game will be televised on CBS Sports Network with John Sadak and Marlon Anderson calling the action. Alabama will start lefty Justin Kamplain (1-0, 4.82) and the Bulldogs will start LHP Jacob Lindgren (4-2, 3.47).
"Charley Sullivan gave us a really good start and put us in position to win the game," Alabama head coach Mitch Gaspard said. "We were able to get the lead late on the Smith home run, as he had a really good day for us offensively. It comes down to a couple areas that we need to improve on. Leadoff walks and a few decisions on the field hurt us. The guys played really hard and got after it all day. Give credit to Mississippi State, they got some big hits when they needed them today."
Sullivan pitched into the seventh inning and recorded quality start number six of the season, going 6.1 innings allowing three runs on eight hits with five strikeouts and no walks. Ray Castillo (2-2) suffered the loss after blowing his first save opportunity of the year. Castillo threw 2.1 innings, allowing two runs on four hits, but walked three and struck out three.
Mississippi State reliever Chad Girodo faced two batters in the top of the 10th inning, recording a walk and a strike out, to get the win and improve to 5-1 on the year. In the top of the 10th inning, Alabama had the potential go-ahead run on third with one out in Andrew Miller, but Kenny Roberts grounded out to second off Ben Bracewell, and after Georgie Salem drew a walk off Girodo, Kyle Overstreet struck out to end the inning.
Offensively, Austen Smith hit his second home run of the day in the sixth inning to give the Tide a 4-3 lead. Miller was 2-for-4 with a run scored, Georgie Salem was 1-for-4 with two RBIs, and Mikey White was 1-for-4 with an RBI/
The extra inning game marked the sixth of the season for the Tide, who are now 1-5 in extra-inning games this season. All six of Alabama's extra-inning games have come against ranked opponents.
Mississippi State had 12 hits against the Tide as Robson (3-for-4) and Frost (4-for-5) combined for seven of the Bulldogs hits. Hunter Renfroe was 2-for-3, which included his SEC-leading 15th of the year, with two walks and two runs scored.
Mississippi got off to an early start in game two, scoring a pair of runs off Sullivan with two outs in the first. The Bulldogs got back-to-back singles before Wes Rea doubled to left center field to drive in Renfroe and C.T. Bradford.
Alabama answered in the third with a two-out single by Salem that drove in Miller and Steven Cole to tie the game at 2-2. Miller and Cole had back-to-back singles with one out and moved up 90 feet when Kenny Roberts grounded out to the pitcher.
The Bulldogs regained the lead when hit a solo home run to open the home half of the third inning. The Tide answered in their next at-bat when Mikey White delivered an RBI single through the right side with runners on first and second, which allowed Moore to score from second.
Alabama took its first lead of the series when Smith hit a solo home run to left center field with two outs in the sixth inning. It was Smith's second home run of the doubleheader and his team leading fifth of the season.
With UA closer Ray Castillo in to start the eighth inning, Wes Rea walked to open the inning, then was replaced by pinch runner Derrick Armstrong. After Trey Porter struck out, Sam Frost singled to put runners on first and second with one out. Pinch hitter Brett Pirtle then singled to left field and Armstrong beat the throw from Miller to tie the game at 4-4.