STARKVILLE, Miss. -A come-from-behind victory made the Mississippi State baseball team feel good again Friday night.
Brent Rooker hit a two-run double to cap a three-run seventh inning as MSU rallied past Tennessee 5-4 in the opening game of a three-game Southeastern Conference series at Dudy Noble Field.
The Bulldogs snapped a four-game losing streak while winning for the first time in league play this season. MSU improved to 13-10 and 1-3 in the league, while Tennessee fell to 13-6 and 0-4.
"I'm really proud of the guys for finding a way to get it done tonight," head coach Andy Cannizaro said. "We just kept battling all night. It was a team win because so many players contributed. We fielded it well, pitched it well and got a couple of big hits in key situations."
The Bulldogs collected 10 hits. Ryan Gridley, Elijah MacNamee, Cody Brown and Josh Lovelady each had two hits apiece.
MacNamee's first home run of the season gave the Bulldogs a 2-0 lead in the first inning.
Tennessee answered back with a run on an RBI double by Justin Ammons in the third inning. The Volunteers then grabbed the lead with three scores in the fourth inning. Benito Santiago hit a double, prior to a two-run home run by Dom Thornton.
Things stayed that way until the Bulldogs scored three times in the seventh inning.
Tanner Poole had an RBI single to bring the Bulldogs within one. With two outs, Rooker hit a double to left center plating the game-tying and go-ahead runs.
"We were down most of the night but just kept working at it," Cannizaro said. "I thought we showed some patience at the plate and had some really good at-bats. The bullpen did a great job of giving us a chance."
Konnor Pilkington drew the start but was lifted with one out in the sixth inning. Jacob Barton (1-0) finished the sixth inning and worked the seventh inning to get the win. Riley Self threw the eighth inning, while Spencer Price struck out a pair in a perfect ninth inning for his fifth save.
Tennessee collected 12 hits. Pete Derkay, Ammons and Thornton each had multiple hits for the Volunteers. Kyle Serrano (1-1) took the loss.
The three-game series will continue on Saturday with game two set for 6:30 p.m. CT. The game was originally set for 2 p.m. CT. For the latest updates on any game time changes, make sure to follow the Diamond Dawgs on Twitter.