OMAHA, Neb. — No. 7 Mississippi State baseball bounced back with a big 13-2 win over No. 4 Vanderbilt on Tuesday night in Game 2 of the College World Series finals at TD Ameritrade Park.
With the win, the Bulldogs improve to 49-18 and are one win away from their first national championship in school history. The Commodores fall to 49-17.
The national champion will now be decided in Game 3 on Wednesday at 6 p.m. CT on ESPN2.
MSU compiled 14 hits, with all starters recording at least one hit. Freshman Lane Forsythe had three hits, two RBIs and a run, while graduate student Scotty Dubrule had two hits, four RBIs and two runs.
Senior Tanner Allen went 2-for-4 at the plate and came around to score four times, and junior Luke Hancock reached base five times with two hits and three walks and finished with two RBIs and one run.
Senior Houston Harding started on the mound and tossed four innings, allowing one run on two hits with four strikeouts and two walks. Junior Preston Johnson (4-0) then allowed one run on two hits and struck out seven batters in five innings of relief to get the win.
Vanderbilt freshman starting pitcher Christian Little (3-2) pitched two complete innings in the loss and surrendered five runs (four earned) on three hits with four walks and two strikeouts.
The Commodores issued a season-high 10 walks in the game, including three consecutive walks by Little in MSU’s four-run third inning.
In the bottom of the first inning, the first two MSU batters were retired before sophomore Kamren James reached on a throwing error. Hancock then singled through the right side to give the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead.
Sophomore CJ Rodriguez tied the game in the top of the second inning with a home run to left field.
Allen led the bottom of the third inning off with a grounder that was fielded by sophomore Carter Young, but Young was unable to get the ball out of his glove and Allen was standing at first. He then advanced on a wild pitch before James and Hancock were walked to load the bases.
Sophomore Logan Tanner then drew a walk to score Allen, and Dubrule scored two more runs with a single up the middle. Junior Brad Cumbest reached on a fielder’s choice before freshman Kellum Clark was walked to load the bases. A wild pitch scored the fourth run of the frame and gave MSU a 5-1 lead.
Three more walks loaded the bases for the Bulldogs again in the bottom of the fourth inning. Dubrule plated a run with an RBI fielder’s choice to make it 6-1.
A strikeout began the bottom of the fifth inning before Forsythe singled. A flyout would follow before a trio of singles from Allen, James and Hancock increased the lead to 8-1.
The Bulldogs then scored five times in the bottom of the seventh inning to make it a 13-1 ballgame. Allen was hit by a pitch to begin things and advanced to second on a wild pitch. After a strikeout, he stole third. Hancock was then walked, and senior Josh Hatcher pinch ran for him. Hatcher stole second and the throw went into the outfield, allowing Allen to score. Tanner then drew a walk and Dubrule scored Hatcher with an RBI single. A two-RBI single from Forsythe and an RBI single from senior Rowdey Jordan scored the final runs of the inning.
Sophomore Maxwell Romero Jr. gave the Commodores their second run of the game in the top of the ninth inning with a home run to right-center field to end the game’s scoring at 13-2.