The Alabama Crimson Tide (22-9, 3-7) welcomed the Mississippi State Bulldogs (18-13, 2-8) Thursday for the series opener.

In a game that saw six balls leave the field, Alabama was outhit for contact and power in a 12-8 loss to Mississippi State. For the third consecutive conference game, Alabama struggled to finish teams in the late innings.

"I don't think we did enough on either side of the ball to win," coach Brad Bohannon said. "We have to have some guys in the bullpen step up and make big pitches."

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Garrett McMillian earned his first series opening start of the season, but was pulled after just one inning of work after the Bulldogs got out to an early 2-0 lead. courtesy of a SAC fly by left fielder Dakota Jordan and an infield single by third baseman Slate Alford.

Hagan Banks assumed relief duties in the second inning, but immediately gave up a solo home run to catcher Ross Highfill. Tommy Seidl gave Alabama some life in the bottom half of the second, driving in a run to make it a 3-1 ballgame.

Jim Jarvis headlined a turnaround third inning for Alabama. To end the top frame, he made a Derek Jeter-esque jump throw to keep the Bulldogs scoreless.

Jarvis' defensive work gave Alabama the momentum in the bottom of the third. Jarvis and left fielder William Hamiter went back-to-back with solo home runs to right field to even the game up at 3-3.

Ed Johnson gave Alabama its first lead of the night in the fourth inning, reaching on with an infield single and driving one in the process. The Bulldogs responded the following half inning, once again the game up.

Alabama's pitching looked to be settling down throughout the middle innings, but the Bulldogs took a commanding 10-4 lead off three home runs in the seventh inning.

After the chaotic seventh inning, Mississippi State settled down and controlled the game. Alabama tried to mount a late comeback in the ninth, but the seven run deficit was too much to overcome.

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