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'Bama Takes Game 1 From State, 8-5; Twinbill Set For Sunday

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Mississippi State slapped three home runs Saturday night but it was not enough offense as the Bulldogs dropped an 8-5 decision to Alabama in the opening game of a weekend Southeastern Conference series at Sewell-Thomas Stadium.

Alabama improved to 23-15 overall and 6-10 in league play, while M-State fell to 20-18 and 5-11.

The Bulldogs and Crimson Tide will conclude the weekend series with a noon doubleheader Sunday afternoon. Saturday night's contest was actually the completion of a suspended game started Friday night. Sunday's doubleheader will feature two seven-inning games. UA is trying for its fifth straight series win against MSU.

When play was halted Friday night, UA led 1-0 with a pair of outs in the bottom of the first inning. The Tide stretched that lead with two scores in the second inning. The Bulldogs answered with back-to-back home runs from Luke Adkins and Connor Powers in the third inning.

Alabama again stretched the lead with two runs in the fourth inning and three runs in the seventh inning. Each at-bat was highlighted by a two-run home run.

The Bulldogs answered in the eighth inning when Power slapped his second home run of the contest - a towering three-run shot to left field. The slugging Bulldog first baseman now has 12 home runs and 59 RBIs on the campaign. Powers has now had three multi-home run games this season and eight for his MSU career. The second home run was his 50th career round-tripper.

For MSU, Caleb Reed (0-4) started on the mound and resumed pitching when Saturday's play began. Reed work four innings, allowing four hits and five runs (all earned), with four walks and four strikeouts. Tyler Whitney worked the final four innings, allowing five hits and three runs (all earned), with three walks and three strikeouts.

For the Crimson Tide, Josh Rutledge touched Reed for a two-run home run in the fourth inning. In the seventh inning, Whitney was touched for an RBI-double by Jake Smith and a two-run home run by David Kindred.

Winning pitcher Jimmy Nelson (5-1) worked 7.1 innings, allowing seven hits and five runs (all earned), with no walks and eight strikeouts. Nathan Kilcrease closed the contest, striking out four batters on the final 1.2 innings to earn his fourth save.

The Bulldogs finished with seven hits, paced by Powers' eighth three-hit game of the season.

The Crimson Tide finished with nine hits. Taylor Dugas, Kindred and Rutledge each had multiple hits for UA.


Connor Powers
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