Mississippi State could not continue the magic Saturday afternoon.
No. 7 MSU dropped both ends of a Southeastern Conference baseball doubleheader to No. 5 Auburn. In the opener, the Tigers scored seven times in the fourth inning and cruised to a 17-8 victory. In the nightcap, the Bulldogs could not mount an offensive threat, falling 5-3.
Auburn won its sixth SEC series of the season, while snapping the MSU series win streak at five.
With three weeks remaining in the regular season, the teams are now tied for both the overall and Western Division leads. MSU is 30-16 and 14-7 in league play, while Auburn is 32-14 and 14-7.
“It was a long day with a disappointing outcome,” head coach Andy Cannizaro said. “We did some things that we haven’t done recently. We allowed 17 runs in three innings today. Auburn has an outstanding team. They are in the top five for a reason. We allowed 21 free bases in the first game and then 15 in the second game.
“We didn’t play a clean day of baseball. Auburn swung it well both games. They made some really great plays on the infield. We look forward to getting back to practice Monday.”
GAME 1: Auburn 17, Mississippi State 8
Auburn struck for seven runs in the fourth inning and five runs in the eighth inning. The Tigers touched five Bulldog hurlers for 14 hits.
MSU built a 2-1 lead on a two-run home run by Harrison Bragg in the second inning. The lead grew to 3-1 an inning later when Brent Rooker homered to left center.
MSU starter Cole Gordon (2-1) was lifted in the fourth inning. The Tigers took a 4-3 lead on a sacrifice fly by Jay Estes. Peyton Plumlee was then touched for a grand slam by Auburn’s Dylan Ingram.
Down 9-3, the Bulldogs climbed back into the contest with four runs in the fifth inning. Rooker had an RBI-double and Cody Brown hit a three-run home run in that at-bat.
The Bulldogs kept chipping away and were back within 10-8 after an RBI-double by Brown in the seventh inning.
MSU finished with 11 hits, including three hits by Rooker and two hits by Brown.
Cole Lipscomb (4-0) picked up the win for Auburn. Jonah Todd had three hits and four RBIs for the Tigers.
GAME 2: Auburn 5, Mississippi State 3
Auburn scored all of the runs it would need in a five-run fourth inning. The big blows were a two-run single by Connor Davis, two-run home run by Dylan Ingram and an RBI-double by Jeremy Johnson.
The Bulldogs got on the board in the home half of the fourth inning on an RBI-single by Harrison Bragg. Elijah MacNamee had an RBI-single in the seventh inning. In both frames, the Bulldogs stranded a pair of runners.
Brent Rooker hit his 19th home run of the season in the ninth inning.
Starter Jacob Billingsley (1-1) breezed through the first three innings but ran into trouble in the fourth inning. Billingsley allowed two hits and three runs (all earned), with two strikeouts and two walks. Trey Jolly worked one inning and was touched for the other two runs. Denver McQuary, Riley Self and Spencer Price combined for five innings of shutout relief.
Elliott Anderson (1-0) got the win for Auburn and Calvin Coker earned his second save.
Rooker and Bragg each had three of MSU’s 13 hits. Cody Brown also had two hits. The Bulldogs stranded 11 base runners.