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.

Confirmed Cases: 36680

Reported Deaths: 1250
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds299254
DeSoto195920
Madison148439
Jones122449
Harrison117716
Rankin112619
Neshoba104677
Forrest103843
Lauderdale96681
Scott82415
Jackson79819
Washington73713
Copiah67016
Leake63420
Lee62822
Oktibbeha61928
Grenada6049
Warren60021
Holmes59541
Lamar5837
Wayne56519
Yazoo5607
Lowndes54817
Leflore53456
Lincoln53335
Lafayette5064
Pike50520
Sunflower5048
Monroe46135
Panola4546
Covington4465
Simpson4433
Bolivar41218
Tate39213
Attala38624
Newton37610
Adams35820
Pontotoc3556
Marion34512
Claiborne30811
Pearl River30332
Winston30111
Chickasaw30019
Marshall2923
Jasper2816
Noxubee2799
Walthall2708
Clay26111
Union25412
Smith25212
Coahoma2306
Clarke22325
Lawrence2132
Yalobusha2089
Tallahatchie1954
Kemper18414
Carroll18211
Montgomery1793
Calhoun1705
Humphreys16910
Hancock14813
Itawamba1478
Tippah14611
Webster13411
Jefferson1283
Prentiss1274
Jefferson Davis1254
Tunica1253
George1233
Greene11610
Amite1123
Alcorn1072
Tishomingo1061
Quitman1011
Wilkinson989
Perry914
Stone772
Choctaw764
Franklin542
Sharkey480
Benton470
Issaquena101
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 54768

Reported Deaths: 1096
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson6746170
Mobile4904140
Montgomery4547112
Tuscaloosa269053
Madison22689
Marshall198011
Shelby169125
Lee159637
Morgan13385
Baldwin127711
Walker107532
Elmore106721
Etowah101114
Dallas10029
DeKalb9677
Franklin93816
Autauga69815
Russell6860
Unassigned67928
Chambers67730
Butler65229
Limestone6393
Tallapoosa63069
Cullman6156
Houston6077
Lauderdale5776
St. Clair5443
Calhoun5155
Colbert5096
Escambia4888
Lowndes48422
Pike4795
Jackson4352
Coffee4284
Covington41612
Talladega4017
Barbour3992
Dale3951
Bullock37810
Hale35423
Marengo35411
Chilton3312
Blount3201
Clarke3176
Wilcox3038
Winston2995
Sumter29213
Marion29014
Pickens2746
Randolph2639
Monroe2603
Perry2502
Conecuh2318
Bibb2241
Macon2199
Choctaw21712
Greene1989
Henry1553
Washington1488
Lawrence1360
Crenshaw1323
Cherokee1247
Geneva980
Lamar891
Clay852
Fayette851
Coosa661
Cleburne451
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