NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A season full of ups and downs after starting 2-7 in the Southeastern Conference, the Diamond Dawgs have made a memorable run and are going to the College World Series for the 10th time in school history, and first time since 2013. A run that included five straight elimination games in the regional and super regional combined.
MSU closed out the Nashville Super Regional with a 10-6, 11-inning win over Vanderbilt (35-27) Sunday night at Hawkins Field to punch its ticket to Omaha.
MSU (37-27) will face Washington (35-24) In a first-round game Saturday at TD Ameritrade Park.
The Dawgs took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third inning on a sacrifice fly by Rowdey Jordan and single by Hunter Stovall. The Commodores got one of those runs back in the bottom half of the third on a Stephen Scott solo home run.
Vanderbilt took the lead in the fourth inning with two runs on just one base hit to take a 3-2 lead. Harrison Ray reached first after being hit by a pitch. He then stole second and later advanced to third on a passed ball. Julian Infante followed with a sac-fly to score Jordan and make it 2-2. Vandy’s one hit in the inning came from an RBI-single by Austin Martin to give the Commodores the lead.
In the sixth inning, the Dawgs tied things at 3-3 after Elijah MacNamee was hit by a pitch, advanced to second after a walk, advanced to third on Luke Alexander sacrifice bunt and then scored on a wild pitch.
Things stayed tied until the ninth inning when Jake Mangum hit an RBI-double down the right field line to score Alexander. Jordan followed with a sacrifice fly, before Mangum came home on a wild pitch to give State a 6-3 lead. The Diamond Dawgs looked to be in the driver’s seat to punch their ticket to the College World Series, but Vandy had other plans.
Vanderbilt came back to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth when Pat DeMarco hit a solo home run and Ethan Paul hit a two-run home run.
After neither team scored in the 10th inning, the Dawgs scored four runs in the 11th inning to take the lead for good. Josh Hatcher came in as a pinch hitter and drew a leadoff walk. After a strikeout, Jordan singled. Tanner Allen then drove in the go-ahead run with a double down the right field line. After an intentional walk, Justin Foscue drew a bases-loaded walk to bring home Jordan. Luke Alexander ended the game’s scoring with a two-run single.
MSU compiled 12 hits on the night. Jordan led the Dawgs with three hits. Mangum, Stovall and Jordan Westburg each added two hits.
Vanderbilt had 11 hits, but stranded 17 base runners.
Jacob Billingsley got the start on the mound for the Diamond Dawgs. He pitched 3.2 innings, allowing three runs, one earned, on five hits. He struck out seven batters and walked two.
Cole Gordon then came in relief and pitched 3.2 innings and allowed no runs on two hits. He struck out seven batters and walked three. Riley Self then pitched 1.1 innings and allowed three runs, all earned, on three hits. He also walked two batters.
Zach Neff then pitched one inning, allowing just one hit.
Denver McQuary (2-2) earned the win while entering the game in the 10th inning. He got a big strikeout with two runners on base. In the 11th, McQuary walked the leadoff man and gave way to Keegan James. James got three straight ground ball outs to end the game.
Tyler Brown (1-5) was charged with the Vanderbilt loss. He pitched two outs in the 11th and allowed four earned runs on two hits.
The Diamond Dawgs will return to Starkville before departing for Omaha, Nebraska to begin the College World Series. MSU will now play Washington in its opening game of the College World Series.