The Alabama baseball team lost an intense game in extra innings to the Mississippi State Bulldogs Friday in the first of a three game series. The final blow came in the bottom of the 10th with a walk-off solo homerun by senior second baseman RJ Yeager.

The game started well for the Tide. The Bulldogs took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning, but junior pitcher Garrett McMillan was having a great night on the mound. The Hillcrest and Shelton State product had six strikeouts on 105 pitches through his 5.1 innings on the mound.

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Alabama’s bats were hot Friday and they got some help from Mississippi State’s pitchers frequently walking them. Left fielder Tommy Seidl scored twice and Owen Diodati had two RBIs. Diodati drew praise from head coach Brad Bohannon for coming through with runners in scoring position, something the team has struggled with throughout the season so far.

Though there were some defensive gaffes throughout the early portion of the game, the Tide D mostly played tight and helped the team build a 5-1 lead.

That changed in the 7th inning when freshman Dylan Ray came in to relieve Brock Guffey after he left the game with an undisclosed injury. Kellum Clark hit a three-run homerun for Mississippi State as soon as the change was made. Bohannon said that due to the injury, the team, “had to go to Dylan Ray a little earlier than we would have liked.”

No update has been provided on Guffey’s injury yet.

Ray was taking batters down well, but had also given up a couple of extra base hits and the huge homerun that brought the score to 5-4 in the 7th inning, and Bohannon elected to keep him on the mound in the 9thinning and the extra 10th inning.

“D-Ray’s probably got the best stuff on our team,” Bohannon said of the decision. “We have some other good arms in the bullpen but we thought D-Ray was better than anybody else we had down in the bullpen.”

The pressure of playing in a 12 thousand seat stadium on the road clearly got to the young pitcher. Once the game was close, Mississippi State kept coming.

“It’s really hard to close games out in front of 12 thousand people,” Bohannon said. With the loss, Alabama falls to 13-10 on the season and 1-3 in the SEC. The Tide will have to get two road wins over this very good Mississippi State team to get to .500 in conference play.

“One of the positives about our sport is we play all the time, so we tell the kids whether it’s good or bad, you can’t bring the previous day to the ballpark.”

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