TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – After being chosen to play in the Tallahassee Region, the Diamond Dawgs dropped the Regional opener 20-10 on Friday at Dick Howser Stadium, despite four home runs from the team.
Dustin Skelton, Rowdey Jordan, Elijah MacNamee and Tanner Allen all homered for the Dawgs, but it wasn’t enough to keep up with the Sooners.
Oklahoma’s offense was good for 22 hits and scored nine times in the seventh inning to pull out the 20-10 win.
Saturday Against Florida State
The Diamond Dawgs were down to their final strike when Elijah MacNamee saved the season by hitting a three-run walk-off home run to beat No. 7 national seed Florida State 3-2.
Florida State grabbed a 2-0 lead after five innings of play after scoring one run in the third inning on a Diamond Dawg error to score Nick Derr, who reached on a double. The other run came in the fifth inning from an RBI-single hit by Rhett Aplin.
Jake Mangum and Hunter Stovall were walked in the inning before MacNamee hit the big three-run walk-off home run.
MSU Goes 2-0 on Sunday
The Diamond Dawgs kept their season alive with three straight wins in the losers’ bracket with a 9-8 win over Samford and a 13-5 win over Oklahoma Sunday afternoon and night at Dick Howser Stadium.
No. 2 seed MSU (34-26) will face No. 3 seed Oklahoma (38-24) again today at Noon CT in a winner-take-all game for the regional championship.
Game 1: Mississippi State 9, Samford 8
MSU jumped out to a 5-0 lead through three innings, but Samford came back and gave the Dawgs everything they had. After a hard-fought game. State held on for the one-run win.
Jake Mangum lead the game off with a home run to give State a 1-0 lead. Hunter Stovall then reached on a fielder’s choice and MacNamee followed with a two-run homer to left field to give MSU a 3-0 lead. A Rowdey Jordan double scored Hunter Vansau in the second inning and a sac-fly by Luke Alexander scored MacNamee to give the Dawgs a 5-0 lead.
Samford came back to score five runs in the third inning to tie the game at 5-5. Samford had three hits in the frame, and an MSU fielding error and an MSU mental error score five runs in the third inning.
The score would remain 5-5 until the seventh inning when MSU scored three runs. Jordan led the inning off with a single, Allen then followed with a double. Stovall followed up with a two-RBI single to give State a 7-5 lead. Alexander then singled to push the lead to 8-5.
A home run from Brooks Carlson gave Samford a run in the seventh inning, but MSU answered with a run in the eighth when Allen doubled and scored Jordan to make it a 9-6 ballgame.
Samford struck for two in the eighth inning, but the Diamond Dawgs held on for the 9-8 win.
MSU finished with 15 hits. Allen and Skelton each had three hits. Mangum, Jordan and Alexander each added two hits apiece.
Jacob Billingsley (5-3) drew the start and earned the win for MSU. He pitched seven innings, allowing seven runs, four earned, on seven hits. He struck out three batters and walked three.
Denver McQuary recorded two outs in the eighth inning, before JP France got the final four outs for his second save.
Wyatt Burns (5-4) was charged with the Samford loss. He pitched three innings in relief. He allowed four runs, all earned, on five hits.
Game 2: Mississippi State 13, Oklahoma 5
After scoring a run in the second inning off of a Skelton sac-fly, MSU exploded for eight runs in third inning, as the Diamond Dawgs forced a Regional Championship game today with a 13-5 win Sunday evening against Oklahoma.
Jordan hit a two-run home run to start the eight-run third inning. Foscue and Alexander followed with RBI-singles. Jordan Westburg added a sacrifice-fly and Mangum then hit an RBI-single. A misplayed fly ball in the outfield allowed two more runs to score and make it a 9-0 ballgame.
The Sooners got on the board in the bottom of the third inning when Kyle Mendenhall hit a sac-fly to score Brylie Ware. Oklahoma added another run in the sixth inning when Cade Harris doubled to make it 9-2.
In the seventh inning, Mangum scored a run on a fielder’s choice and Allen hit a three-run home run for a four-run inning for MSU and make it a 13-2 ballgame.
Oklahoma added two runs in the seventh when Domenic DeRenzo hit a two-run home run and another run in the eighth on a home run by Harris.
MSU tallied 14 hits and played errorless ball, while Oklahoma had 12 hits and two errors. Mangum and Jordan led the Dawgs with three hits apiece, while Foscue added two.
Denver McQuary drew the start for the Bulldogs and worked the first three innings before being replaced by Cole Gordon, who had an incredible day in relief.
Gordon (4-3) pitched the final six innings and earned the win, allowing four runs, all earned, on seven hits. He struck out 10 batters and walked two.
Devon Perez (5-6) was charged with the Sooners loss. He pitched 2.1 innings, allowing seven runs, all earned, on eight hits.
The Diamond Dawgs will return to the field today for a third game with Oklahoma to decide the Tallahassee Regional crown. First pitch is set for Noon CT.