STARKVILLE, Miss. - On a beautiful afternoon at Dudy Noble Field, the No. 2 Mississippi State baseball program provided some theatrics with its third walk-off win of the season in a 4-1 victory over Eastern Michigan on Saturday (March 13).
The Dawgs trailed 1-0 heading into the bottom of the ninth inning before Logan Tanner’s three-run blast sent The Dude into a frenzy.
A fourth-inning solo home run by Eastern Michigan’s Taylor Hopkins accounted for the only run of the game before Mississippi State (12-3) came to the plate in the bottom of the ninth. A single and hit-by-pitch started the inning, before Luke Hancock’s RBI single tied the game. That ended a strong outing for EMU (4-4) starting pitcher Justin Meis, and Tanner greeted reliever Cameron Wagoner with a first-pitch, three-run home run to left-center field.
Tanner’s blast to left-center field accounted for his first home run of the season and his first career walk-off hit.
The second-year freshman walked in the second inning and then provided the heroics on the first pitch he saw from the right-handed reliever in the ninth inning. Hancock was on base three times, as he reached via error twice and drove in the game-tying RBI with his ninth-inning base hit.
Junior Tanner Allen moved his hitting streak to 12 games and his reached streak to 15 games with a pair of base hits, including the hit that broke up the no-hitter in the sixth and the rally starter in the ninth inning. Kamren James was on base twice with a walk in the fourth and a hit-by-pitch in the ninth.
Sophomore Eric Cerantola threw a career-high-tying five innings in the start and allowed the only EMU run of the game on the fourth-inning solo homer. He struck out five batters in the no decision. Preston Johnson and Cam Tullar combined for a scoreless sixth inning.
Carlisle Koestler (2-0) held the Eagles scoreless the rest of the way to earn the win. Koestler allowed just one base runner and retired the final eight hitters of the game. He struck out two and allowed only a single. Meis (0-2) tossed eight innings and allowed three runs on three hits. He threw 104 pitches, walked three and struck out four.
At the plate, EMU had the home run from Hopkins and added a base hit by Christian Bault to account for their offense.