STARKVILLE, Miss. – The Tulane University baseball team took a 5-3 lead into the bottom half of the ninth inning, but were unable to hang on, as it fell 9-5 to the No. 5-ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs Saturday afternoon at Dudy Noble Stadium. . Tulane had kept the Bulldogs’ offense in check for most of the game, holding MSU to three runs and six hits over the first eight innings of the game. In the bottom of the ninth, MSU’s offense came alive, as it plated six runs on four hits, including a walk-off grand slam. . “We certainly put ourselves in position to win the ball game,” head coach Travis Jewett said. Tulane reliever Trent Johnson suffered the loss for the Green Wave. Despite suffering the loss, Johnson provided a strong showing for Tulane coming out of the bullpen, as he worked the Green Wave out of a jam in the seventh inning. . “I think we had the right guy out there in the ninth,” Jewett said. “Trent Johnson was throwing the ball well, but they squared up on some of his stuff pretty well at the end of the game and they had some quality at bats in a string where they needed them the most.”. . Tulane scored its fifth run of the game in the top half of the eighth thanks to a solo home run by freshman Chase Engelhard. Engelhard also collected his fourth double of the year and drove in a pair of RBI. . “The fact that we got ourselves in position to win the game is a positive takeaway,” Jewett said. “I told the kids afterwards that it is okay to be disappointed. I think you could sense the celebration from them and the crowd and I think that means that they think we are good and I do too.”. . Redshirt junior Donovan Benoit got the start for the Green Wave and worked a season-best 4.1 innings, allowed just two earned runs and scattered three hits. . “I thought Donovan’sstart was really good and he got the game off to a good start,” Jewett said. . The Green Wave also received a strong relief appearance from Justin Campbell, as he came on in the fifth inning and worked out of a bases loaded jam. . Sophomore Jared Hart led the way offensively for the Green Wave, as he had a game-high three hits. Junior Luis Aviles also chipped in offensively, collecting a pair of hits. In addition, sophomore Collin Burns continued to swing a hot bat for the Green Wave, as he extended his hitting streak to 10 games. . . As a team, Tulane finished with 10 hits – its second highest total on the year. . Despite the loss, Tulane can still come away with the series win. . “I think if you told our guys that we had a chance to win the series when we left New Orleans Thursday morning, I think everyone would have signed up for it,” Jewett said. “We still have a great opportunity ahead of us.”. . UP NEXT . Tulane returns to action tomorrow for the final game of its three-game series against Mississippi State. The first pitch for Sunday afternoon’s finale has been moved up one hour from its originally scheduled time and is now set for Noon.