OMAHA. Neb. — The sixth-seeded Mississippi State Diamond Dawgs fell victim to a late-game rally on Thursday as they were eliminated from the College World Series by seven-seed Louisville, 4-3, inside TD Ameritrade Park.
MSU’s appearance in the College World Series caps the program’s 11th trip to Omaha, and its first under first-year head coach Chris Lemonis. The Dawgs end the season with a 52-15 record, which is good for the second most wins in program history.
The Dawgs took a 2-0 lead in the first inning and never trailed until the ninth inning. After a groundout began the top of the fourth inning, sophomore Justin Foscue singled to left field. A strikeout would follow before sophomore Rowdey Jordan hit an RBI double to right field to score him. The next batter, junior Gunner Halter, added another run with an RBI single that brought home Jordan.
State added a run in the seventh inning to take a 3-0 lead. Senior Jake Mangum hit a one-out single through the right side to get things going. A single from sophomore Jordan Westburg put two runners on before a single from sophomore Tanner Allen plated Mangum.
The Cardinals responded in the bottom of the frame by scoring two runs. Back-to-back walks surrendered by senior Jared Liebelt began the inning. A single then loaded the bases. The first run came on an RBI single from junior Drew Campbell. Junior Justin Lavey then brought another run home after reaching first on a fielder’s choice to make it a 3-2 ballgame.
Louisville then scored a pair of runs in the ninth inning to rally for the win and advance to face Vanderbilt for a spot in the College World Series finals. Junior Jake Snider drew a leadoff walk, advanced to second on a failed pickoff attempt and scored on a single by junior Danny Oriente to tie the game. Campbell followed with a walk-off RBI single to end the game.
State was outhit 9-8 in the loss. Allen was the lone Dawg to tally multiple hits, finishing the game 2-for-4.
Freshman right-hander JT Ginn was impressive in his first start on the mound in the College World Series. He pitched six innings and gave up three hits and no runs to go with two strikeouts and one walk.
Liebelt then pitched the seventh inning and allowed two runs on two hits to go with two walks and a strikeout. Graduate student Cole Gordon (5-1) was charged with the loss after allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits. He struck out one batter and walked one batter.
Although he wont be playing next year, Mangum had some words of optimism for next season.
“They’re going to be ready to go in February in front of the the best fan base in the country.”
What a season. What a TEAM. Hail State!