STARKVILLE, Miss. — Sophomore Logan Tanner capped off a six-run second inning with a three-run home run as No. 7 overall seed Mississippi State defeated No. 10 Notre Dame 11-7 on Monday night at Dudy Noble Field to secure a spot in the College World Series for the third straight season.
With the win, the Bulldogs improve to 45-16 and will open the CWS against No. 2 Texas on Sunday. MSU will be seeking its first title in 12 trips to the CWS. The Fighting Irish end their season at 34-13.
Tanner finished with two hits, two runs and three RBIs, while senior Tanner Allen finished with two hits, two RBIs and two runs. Sophomore Kamren James, graduate student Scotty Dubrule and junior Brad Cumbest all added two hits and an RBI.
Senior pitcher Houston Harding got the start on the mound and allowed two runs on four hits in four innings with four strikeouts and two walks.
Sophomore Stone Simmons then surrendered three runs on three hits in the fifth inning. Sophomore closer Landon Sims (4-0) struck out four batters in the final four innings to earn the win. He allowed two runs on three hits and walked one batter.
Notre Dame junior starting pitcher Will Mercer (4-3) surrendered four runs (three earned) on three hits in the first inning.
Notre Dame took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning when senior Ryan Cole homered to right field. MSU answered in the bottom half to tie the game. Senior Rowdey Jordan reached on an infield error and advanced to second on a one-out single by James. Junior Luke Hancock followed with an RBI single to right field.
The top of the second inning ended with Jordan making a diving catch to rob junior Brooks Coetzee of a hit. And then then the big inning happened.
Cumbest led off with a single to right field before freshmen Kellum Clark and Lane Forsythe drew back-to-back walks to load the bases. Cumbest scored on Jordan’s fielder’s choice and Allen brought Clark home with a sacrifice fly. James’ RBI single plated Jordan from second before Hancock drew a walk. Tanner then hit a three-run home run to left-center field to give the Bulldogs a 7-1 lead.
The Irish added a run in the top of the third inning when senior David LaManna doubled to left field and scored on an RBI single by senior Spencer Myers. The Bulldogs got the run back in the bottom half when Allen homered to right-center to make it 8-2.
A trio of doubles by Tanner, Cumbest and Clark increased the MSU lead to 10-2 in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Notre Dame managed to make it a five-run game in the top of the fifth inning. Myers led off with a single and advanced to third on an error. Cole scored him with an RBI single to left field before senior Jared Miller walked. A two-RBI double from junior Carter Putz made it a 10-5 ballgame.
Allen hit a leadoff double in the bottom of the fifth and moved to third on a groundout. He scored on Dubrule’s single up the middle to give the Bulldogs an 11-5 lead.
Sims walked Cole to begin the top of the seventh inning. Senior Niko Kavadas then hit a two-run homer to right field to cut the deficit to 11-7. In the bottom of the ninth, Sims surrendered a pair of singles by Myers and Cole before getting a strikeout and forcing Kavadas into a double play to end the game.
The Bulldogs return to action Sunday when they open CWS play against No. 2 Texas (47-15) at 6 p.m. CT on ESPN2.