HOOVER, Ala. - On a nearly perfect evening - that turned into morning - in front of nearly 14,000 fans, the No. 4 seed Mississippi State baseball program walked off against No. 5 seed LSU, 6-5, in 17 innings at the Hoover Met on Wednesday (May 22) in its first game of the SEC Tournament.
With runners on first and second and two outs in the game, junior Gunner Halter singled up the middle to score sophomore Justin Foscue from second base and give Mississippi State its second walk-off victory of the season. The extra inning game was the seventh for MSU all-time at the SEC Tournament, with State owning a 6-1 mark in those games.
Mississippi State (46-11) opened the scoring with two in the first, one in the second and one in the third inning to stake to a 4-0 lead. LSU (35-23) got a pair of runs in the fifth and eighth innings to draw even, before a sacrifice fly in the 16th inning pushed the Tigers ahead briefly. State followed with an unearned run in the bottom of the 16th to knot things at five, before Halter walked it off in the 17th.
The two teams played 17 innings, taking 6 hours and 43 minutes, which marks the longest time of a game in the SEC Tournament's history. The previous long was a 5-hour and 7-minute game played by LSU and Florida in 2016.
It is the longest game by innings for Mississippi State in program history, equaling a 17-inning affair against Missouri on May 21, 2013 at the SEC Tournament. The Diamond Dawgs also played a 17-inning game at OIe Miss on April 29, 2007, winning all three games.
Freshman Brandon Smith gave Mississippi State a good start, throwing a career-high 4 1/3 innings and tying a career best with five strikeouts. He allowed two runs on five hits in a no decision. Graduate student Cole Gordon threw five innings of relief and allowed just one hit, walked four and struck out eight.
Redshirt-junior Keegan James (4-1) threw 2 2/3 innings in relief and allowed one run on two hits to earn the win. He walked two and struck out one in the outing.
The Bulldog pounded out 19 hits, walked eight times and had four hit-by-pitch. Halter, sophomore Tanner Allen, freshman Luke Hancock, junior Dustin Skelton and sophomore Jordan Westburg all plated RBIs in the game.
Halter Halts The Madness - Gunner Halter used a two-out, single up the middle to plate the game winning run in the 17th inning.
Extras - Mississippi State played its third extra inning game of the year, owning a 2-1 record
Extras in SEC Tournament - The 17-inning game was the seventh extra inning game in MSU's SEC Tournament history, with State owning a 6-1 mark in those games.
Longest Game - The six-hour and 43-minute contest is the longest game in SEC Tournament history. LSU and Florida played for 5:07 in 2016 (14 Inn.).
Brandon Smith - Threw a career-high 72 pitches in a career-best 4 1/3 innings. Tied a career high with five strikeouts. Allowed two runs on five hits.
Jake Mangum - Broke a tie with Burke Masters (1987-90) for the most games played by a Diamond Dawg in school history at 252. Became the second Diamond Dawg in program history to reach the 70-double plateau with a two-bagger in the game. Tanner Allen - Was on base three times with a double, hit-by-pitch and single. Drove in one RBI.
Giovanni DiGiacomo - Hit the game-tying two-run home run for his first home run of the season. Drove a third run in the 16th inning with a sacrifice fly.
Josh Smith - Reached base three times with a single, double and walk. Stole one base.
The first four batters reached base, beginning with a single up the middle by Jake Mangum. Jordan Westburg was hit by a pitch, before Tanner Allen drove in the first run with a double to right field. Following a Justin Foscue walk that loaded the bases, Dustin Skelton hit a flyball to right field for a sacrifice fly.
Mississippi State 2, LSU 0
Josh Hatcher started the inning with a double to left field, before LSU starting pitcher Eric Walker retired the next two batters. After an intentional walk to Mangum, Westburg followed with an RBI single. Mississippi State 3, LSU 0
Foscue walked to start the frame, before a pair of one-out singles from Rowdey Jordan and Hatcher loaded the bases. Luke Hancock was hit by a pitch to force a run across.
Mississippi State 4, LSU 0
Brandon Smith worked into some trouble in the inning as a leadoff double was followed by a ground out, single and a walk to load the bases. Trysten Barlow entered and Antoine Duplantis worked a bases-loaded walk to score the first run of the inning. Cade Beloso followed with a sacrifice fly to cut the MSU kelad in half.
Mississippi State 4, LSU 2
LSU tied the game with no outs in the eighth, as Zach Watson was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, before Giovanni DiGiacomo hit the game-tying home run to right field off MSU reliever Jared Liebelt.
Mississippi State 4, LSU 4
LSU loaded the bases against Keegan James with one out in the frame, before DiGiacomo's sacrifice fly gave LSU its first lead of the game.
LSU 5, Mississippi State 4
Rowdey Jordan singled, Ma'Khail Hilliard got a strikeout for the first out. Landon Jordan followed with a base hit to put runners on first and second with one down. A Marshall Gilbert flyout moved Rowdey Jordan to third base and brought Mangum to the plate with two outs. Mangum hit a chopper to the second baseman, who misplayed the ball, allowing Rowdey Jordan to score.
Mississippi State 5, LSU 5
Foscue reached on a wild pitch following a strikeout and advanced to second on a wild pitch with two outs. After an intentional walk to Rowdey Jordan, Gunner Halter sent the first pitch he saw back up the middle and Foscue slid across home plate to give MSU its second walk-off win of the season.
Mississippi State 6, LSU 5
Mississippi State will play the second game of the evening session at approximately 8 p.m. against top-seeded Vanderbilt. The Diamond Dawgs and Commodores will meet 30 minutes following the conclusion of the Arkansas/Georgia game which begins at 5:30 p.m. ET.