OMAHA, Neb. – The Mississippi State baseball team had one of the most memorable runs in recent history, winning five straight elimination games, including walk-off wins in the Tallahassee Regional, Nashville Super Regional and the College World Series.
After a rough start to the season, which included an 0-3 record and a resignation from head coach Andy Cannizaro, MSU started with a 2-7 record in the Southeastern Conference before turning things around. The Diamond Dawgs battled through, which can be credited to junior leader Jake Mangum as well as help from multiple freshmen hitters to make this a season to remember.
MSU started 2-0 in the CWS, beating Washington 1-0 and North Carolina 12-2. The luck ran out Saturday night, as the Diamond Dawgs fell to No. 3 Oregon State 5-3 at TD Ameritrade Park to end their season. MSU (39-29) came up short against Oregon State (53-11-1), losing on back-to-back days to be eliminated from the CWS.
Oregon State will advance to College World Series championship series next week, and will face off with Arkansas. MSU will enter the offseason after its 10th appearance in the College World Series.
In Saturday’s elimination game, Oregon State jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the top of third inning. Cadyn Grenier hit a two-out double. Trevor Larnach then hit a single. Adley Rutschman followed with an RBI-single and Michael Gretler hit an RBI-single of his own to make it 2-0. Tyler Malone capped off the inning with a three-run homer to right center.
The Diamond Dawgs scored a run in the bottom of the third to make it 5-1. A pair of walks to Luke Alexander and Mangum was followed by a Rowdey Jordan RBI-single.
In the ninth inning, Elijah MacNamee and Justin Foscue drew walks. Alexander hit a two-out RBI-single, but the State comeback came up short.
Rowdey Jordan finished with two of the State’s four hits.
Starter Ethan Small (5-4) was charged with the loss. He pitched 4.2 innings, allowing five runs, all earned, on seven hits. He struck out five batters and walked one.
Cole Gordon followed with solid pitching in relief. He pitched the final 4.1 innings, while allowing no runs on just one hit. He added three strikeouts.
Kevin Abel (6-1) earned the win for the Beavers. He pitched seven innings, allowing one earned run on three hits. He struck out five batters and walked three.
As the season comes to an end, the Diamond Dawgs have a lot to be proud of. This team came together when it mattered most and made it an incredibly fun season. Hail State!