STARKVILLE, Miss. (MSU Athletics/WTVA) - The fall season just didn't want to end for Mississippi State baseball, as the Fall World Series needed an extra frame to decide a winner. Team Maroon held a 1-0 lead until the sixth, when Team White evened the game, but Maroon plated three runs in the extra frame to claim the game, and the series, 4-1.
"We wanted to have a winner and [extra innings] gave us a chance to play with a little added pressure," said head coach Chris Lemonis. "We played fast and that was really good to see. We really pounded the [strike] zone and played well defensively. Christian [MacLeod] and Ethan [Small] both pitched really well in their starts. This weekend was a good foundation to build on moving forward."
Christian MacLeod allowed two hits in two inning and fanned three hitters in the start for Team White (1-2), but Ethan Small was dazzling in his start for Team Maroon (2-1).
In four innings, Small allowed just one base runner – a one-out walk in the third inning – and stuck out seven of the 13 batters he faced. The junior didn't factor into the decision, as he gave way to Brandon Smith (1-0), who put together three innings of one-run work.
The scoring got started in the third inning when Jake Mangum ripped a one-out double down the right field line for Team Maroon. He moved to third on a Tanner Allen flyout and scored in a wild pitch. Mangum broke on a ball in the dirt that was kept in front by catcher Hayden Jones, but Mangum was able to dance around the tag and touch home plate for the game's opening run.
Team White broke up the no-hitter in the fifth inning against Smith, but couldn't scratch across the equalizer until the sixth inning. In the sixth, Bryce Brock doubled to left center field and advanced to third on a Hunter Blalock single. He scored one batter later on a Landon Jordan ground out to knot the score at 1-1.
In the seventh, Cole Gordon worked his second inning of relief for Team White and got into some trouble, as Dustin Skelton stuck out, but reached on a wild pitch, and Josh Hatcher laid down a sacrifice bunt that Gordon fielded and threw wide of first. That put runners on second and third with no outs and JT Ginn was intentionally walked to load the bases. Gordon got a lineout to right field and a fielder's choice that cut a run down at the plate. He fanned the final batter of the inning and White couldn't score in the bottom half of the inning.
Mangum got the eighth inning started with a hit-by-pitch against Team White relief pitcher Sam Knowlton (0-1), stole second and moved to third on an Allen ground out. After walks to Elijah MacNamee and Justin Foscue loaded the bases, Brock entered on the mound and allowed back-to-back singles. Skelton broke the tie with an RBI single to center field and Luke Hancock delivered a two-RBI base hit through the right side to make it 4-1 in favor of Maroon.
Jared Liebelt (1) came on for the only save of the weekend, making quick work of Team White in a 1-2-3 inning to secure the Fall World Series win for Team Maroon.