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Mississippi State defeats Vanderbilt to advance to the College World Series

After the season the Mississippi State Bulldogs have had, what's a little two-hour weather delay, a five-hour-plus, 11-inning game to punch a ticket to the College World Series?

Posted: Jun 10, 2018 6:26 PM
Updated: Jun 11, 2018 5:52 PM

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — After the season the Mississippi State Bulldogs have had, what's a little two-hour weather delay, a five-hour-plus, 11-inning game to punch a ticket to the College World Series?

The Bulldogs survived all those things, plus a three-run ninth-inning rally by Vanderbilt, to take a 10-6 victory on Sunday night and secure a date in Omaha in what has become a season of survival.

Interim coach Gary Henderson replaced the fired Andy Canizzaro in February, and now has the Bulldogs (37-27) buying into his philosophies and reaping the rewards from it.

"It's been really unusual. It's been at times weird. At times you're playing the game, and some dude is heckling you from the stands, calling you Mr. Interim. That's as awkward then as it is right now with me telling you that," Henderson said. "I really admire our coaching staff. Those guys got on board, no hidden agenda. It was, 'Hendu, what do we need to do?' And I let them do it."

Henderson's Bulldogs responded after a slow start to the season, being 2-7 at one point in Southeastern Conference play, with everything culminating in Sunday night's marathon win over Vanderbilt.

Tanner Allen's double in the 11th inning drove in the go-ahead run and sparked a four-run rally as Mississippi State finally outlasted Vanderbilt to claim the World Series bid.

Allen's line drive into the right-field corner scored pinch-hitter Josh Hatcher, who had walked to lead off the inning. Mississippi State, which will be headed to Omaha for the first time since 2013, later scored a second run when Justin Foscue drew a bases-loaded walk to drive in Rowdey Jordan, who had reached on an infield single. Luke Alexander followed with a two-run single to push the Bulldogs' lead to four runs.

The State rally made a winner of reliever Denver McQuary (2-2), who faced just two batters. Keegan James pitched a scoreless bottom of the 11th to close the game.

Tyler Brown (1-5) took the loss for Vanderbilt.

Vanderbilt (35-27) had rallied from three runs down in the ninth inning to force extra innings after Mississippi State had scored three times to take the lead in the top half of the frame..

"I'm proud of our boys. I really am," Commodores coach Tim Corbin said. "It wasn't a pretty baseball game, but it was a heck of a game to be a part of. There were so many big plays defensive and some big hits. That last (ninth) inning, I'll never forget. We pieced together a heck of an inning when it looked like it was over. But at the very end there, we were just too far to come from behind."

For Mississippi State center fielder Jake Mangum, whose RBI double in the ninth sparked the Bulldogs' rally that had them three outs from Omaha, it was almost fitting that they had to go to extra innings after the season they have endured.

"I was thinking about that in the 10th inning. Why wouldn't we blow a three-run lead and have to win it in extra innings? This year has been a rollercoaster," said Mangum.

A LITTLE PREMATURE

It is fairly common in baseball for a batter to drop the bat and take a step toward first base on what he believes to be ball four, only to have the umpire call it a strike and the batter have to return to the box to hit. The reverse of that happened with the bases loaded for Vanderbilt in the bottom of the first. Pat DeMarco was at the plate, and a 2-2 borderline pitch from Jacob Billingsley looked close enough to strike three that both Billingsley and catcher Dustin Skelton started to walk toward the dugout, thinking they had gotten the third out. But home plate umpire Jim Scaly called the pitch a ball. Billingsley then struck out DeMarco swinging on the next pitch to end the inning.

BAD SIGN

Vanderbilt is 0-5 all-time in super regional series when losing the first game of the best-of-three affair. Sunday night's game marked only the second time in those five chances that the Commodores had managed to force a third and decisive game in the series.

DEJA VU

Mississippi State center fielder Jake Mangum threw out his second runner at third base in as many nights when he nailed Pat DeMarco in the bottom of the fifth. Mangum fielded Harrison Ray's one-out single to center and fired a strike to get DeMarco out on a close play. Mangum threw out Justin Infante in Saturday night's game.

COMING UP EMPTY

Mississippi State pitchers struck out 16 Vanderbilt batters in the extra inning game. The Commodores also stranded 17 runners on the bases.

UP NEXT

Mississippi State will head to the College World Series for the first time in five years and the 10th time in school history. Vanderbilt finishes its season 35-27.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 256827

Reported Deaths: 5638
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17331186
Hinds16373328
Harrison13731199
Rankin10854217
Jackson10557187
Lee8922141
Madison8335166
Jones6483112
Forrest6038120
Lauderdale5965187
Lowndes5425118
Lafayette503193
Lamar490865
Washington4826124
Bolivar4024109
Oktibbeha397681
Panola374680
Pontotoc369855
Monroe3591105
Warren3569100
Union348063
Marshall347769
Neshoba3413152
Pearl River3329103
Leflore3059107
Lincoln299386
Sunflower288271
Hancock282559
Tate274362
Alcorn267454
Itawamba265260
Pike264679
Scott250847
Prentiss248252
Yazoo247356
Tippah244450
Copiah243949
Coahoma242254
Simpson238368
Leake232966
Grenada220671
Covington215072
Marion215073
Adams207870
Wayne203232
Winston202667
George201939
Newton195044
Attala194659
Tishomingo191661
Chickasaw185744
Jasper174438
Holmes169168
Clay161335
Tallahatchie148235
Stone145921
Clarke141762
Calhoun137621
Smith122725
Yalobusha119134
Walthall112836
Noxubee111423
Greene111029
Montgomery110136
Carroll105321
Lawrence103217
Perry102831
Amite98826
Webster93924
Tunica87421
Claiborne86625
Jefferson Davis85827
Benton83323
Humphreys83324
Kemper78420
Quitman6969
Franklin67115
Choctaw61213
Wilkinson58825
Jefferson55419
Sharkey44017
Issaquena1596
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 429655

Reported Deaths: 6283
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson63040956
Mobile30794557
Madison27486201
Tuscaloosa20996268
Montgomery19352315
Shelby18833120
Baldwin16653184
Lee12749102
Morgan12389119
Etowah11861176
Calhoun11292201
Marshall10290113
Houston8746156
Limestone813276
Cullman8125106
Elmore7999104
DeKalb776599
Lauderdale768698
St. Clair7651121
Talladega6309108
Walker5954174
Jackson586341
Colbert539873
Blount537683
Autauga525755
Coffee450456
Dale402981
Franklin369948
Russell340711
Chilton338966
Covington332668
Escambia326043
Dallas308896
Chambers293170
Clarke287833
Tallapoosa2641107
Pike255230
Marion248953
Lawrence246649
Winston229535
Bibb218847
Geneva205446
Marengo202829
Pickens197531
Hale179542
Barbour176036
Fayette172928
Butler170858
Cherokee161930
Henry156523
Monroe149818
Randolph142135
Washington139126
Clay127645
Crenshaw121544
Cleburne119023
Lamar119021
Macon118637
Lowndes112036
Wilcox105121
Bullock101128
Perry99019
Conecuh95720
Sumter89626
Greene76623
Coosa61015
Choctaw51624
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