The Mississippi State University Bulldogs started off Super Bulldog Weekend with an early lead in game one against the Auburn Tigers. The two runners, RJ Yeager and Kamren James, crossing the plate in the bottom of the first inning gave MSU the competitive edge at the beginning of the game.
The Auburn Tigers fired back with a run in the top of the third, but the Bulldogs rallied to bring Hancock home in the bottom half of the inning, making the score 3-1.
Auburn put up one run in the fifth and rallied in the sixth inning with three runs to bring the score to 5-3 with Auburn leading. The Bulldogs put two across the plate in the bottom of the seventh to tie the game. The Tigers sent one home in the top of the eighth to take the lead by one.
The Bulldogs headed into the final inning down a run and looking for a traditional MSU baseball bottom of the ninth rally for the win— and they did just that.
In the bottom of the ninth, Auburn walked Kellum Clark, then Brad Cumbest followed with a single. Drew McGowan came in to pinch run for Cumbest at first before Tanner Leggett sacrificed to advance Clark and McGowan. The Tigers intentionally walked Yeager, loading the bases for the Bulldogs. Clark stole home on a wild pitch, tying the game.
Auburn intentionally walked Kamren James, loading the bases again for MSU. Luke Hancock stepped up to bat and was walked by the Tiger pitcher, which sent McGowan home and gave the Bulldogs the win in the final inning via a final score of 7-6.
“We saw (Auburn’s) best tonight. They had to throw a lot of pitches tonight. Our guys competed well,” said head coach Chris Lemonis. “For us, tonight, it’s huge.”
After a 93-minute weather delay, the Bulldogs started game two hoping to carry their momentum from game one. In a similar start to game one, the Bulldogs put up two runs early in the bottom of the first inning.
The two teams stayed scoreless for four more innings until the bottom of the sixth when MSU sent two across the plate, making the score 4-0. The Tigers had a single run in the top of the seventh before the Bulldogs plated five of their own in the bottom half of the side, bringing the score to 9-1.
Auburn rallied in the top of the eighth for a potential come back with four runs, but it wasn’t enough. MSU secured the series by ending the night with a final score of 9-5.
Game three was delayed for four hours, but finally, the Bulldogs and Tigers took the field for the final game of the series. The Bulldogs sent two home in the bottom of the second for another early lead.
The game was scoreless for four innings until the top of the seventh when Auburn sent two across the plate to tie the game 2-2. The Tigers sent one more across the plate at the top of the eighth to lead by one going into the ninth and final inning of the series.
The final inning was scoreless for both teams, ending the game at 3-2 with Auburn eliminating the Bulldogs’ potential sweep.
"I know you're excited, but we've got to come out and play great. We can play better, but man, I love our fight. We never put our heads down. We never quit. Just keep playing. I promise you, the game rewards that. It rewards tough dudes," Lemonis said in the post-game huddle with his team.