Mississippi State wins the 2021 College World Series
Mississippi State wins the 2021 College World Series
The Mississippi State Bulldogs are national champions. They shutout Vanderbilt, 9-0, in Game 3 of the finals to take home the 2021 College World Series title. It is MSU’s first NCAA national championship — across all sports — in school history.
Click or tap here to view the finalized bracket
Vanderbilt was vying for back-to-back titles but one player in maroon and white squashed those dreams. This time around it was not Kumar Rocker, 2019’s CWS Most Outstanding Player, who hoisted the trophy and led his team to dominance. It was Will Bednar, on his way to becoming the 2021 College World Series Most Outstanding Player.
Bednar did not allow a hit through six innings. Oh, and he pitched on three days rest.
Landon Sims piggybacked off Bednar with three innings of shutout ball. The no-hitter remained in tack until Carter Young's single in the eighth.
Bednar and Sims combined to no-hit the Commodores through 7.1 innings.
MSU’s pitching was dominant and so was its offense. Just like Game 1 and Game 2, the Bulldogs scored first in the first inning. Rowdey Jordan led off the game with a single and advanced from first to third on a throwing error by Rocker. Jordan then scored on a sacrifice fly for the game’s first run.
Two walks and a pitch clock violation helped taint the second inning for Rocker. Those two walks turned into two runs off a ground out and double by Rowdey, 3-0 MSU.
By the fifth inning, Rocker was facing the top of MSU’s order for the third time. The Rowdey Jordan, Tanner Allen tandem atop the lineup helped pad the box score again with singles, in what led a to a 5-0 Bulldog advantage.
Then in the seventh inning, the game became out of reach. Two homer runs, including Kellum Clark’s three-run blast and Tanner Allen’s solo shot to give him 100 hits on the season, routed MSU past Vanderbilt, 9-0.
Watch Mississippi State clinch the national championship below:
In total, Mississippi State outhit Vanderbilt 12-1 in Game 3. And throughout the College World Series, the Commodores tallied 12 errors to the Bulldogs' zero.
Hear from MSU coach Chris Lemonis following the historic win
Mississippi State breaks it open with two 💣's in the 7th, lead 9-0
The Bulldogs put up four more runs in the 7th and this game is wide open. Logan Tanner hit a moon shot over the left field wall, Dubrule singled into right field, Skinner drew a walk and then Kellum Clark cleared the bases with a three-run shot. The two bombs put Mississippi State up a 9-0.
🚀KELLUM CLARK WITH THE 3-RUN🚀#CWS x @HailStateBB x 🎥 ESPN2 pic.twitter.com/oRKqDOYQDE— NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS) July 1, 2021
Mississippi State's offense is on fire, takes a 5-0 lead, chases Kumar Rocker
After nothing in the third or fourth, Mississippi State got things rolling again in the fifth with the classic 1-2 punch of Rowdey Jordan and Tanner Allen. The heart and soul of this Mississippi State offense on first and second. Luke Hancock became the third Bulldog to get a hit with an RBI single that scored Jordan, and then Logan Tanner became the fifth as he sent Allen home for a 5-0 lead.
That was all she wrote for Kumar Rocker. One of the best pitchers in college baseball and his last time on the rock in a Vanderbilt uniform. Vanderbilt pitching coach Scott Brown took a trip to the mound and Chris McElvain made his way out of the bullpen for the Commodores.
Perfect placement as @HailStateBB plates another one!#CWS x 🎥 ESPN2 pic.twitter.com/yPR3JUNPpQ— NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS) July 1, 2021
Rocker walks two and the Bulldogs tack on two more, lead 3-0
Mississippi State adds two more runs in the top of the second, taking full advantage of some small ball and two walks. Scotty Dubrule and Brayland Skinner drew two consecutive walks to start things off and a Lane Forsythe groundout advanced the runners and sent Dubrule home. Then came Rowdy Jordan, who had an 0-5 start yesterday, but a 2-for-2 start today with an RBI double to left field. This is exactly the kind of start the Bulldogs wanted against Rocker in the championship game.
LET'S GET ROWDEY!— NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS) June 30, 2021
Rowdey Jordan's RBI double extends the @HailStateBB lead.#CWS x 🎥 ESPN2 pic.twitter.com/oaNZ1rySxW
Mississippi State takes the first lead of the game
Rowdey Jordan got things going for the Bulldogs with a leadoff single off of Kumar Rocker. Kamren James sent a slow hopper right back to the pitcher for an easy out at second, but Rocker threw one into the outfield and Jordan advanced to third. State got its first run of the game off of a Luke Hancock sac-fly. Despite the roaring Hail State crowd, Rocker kept composure and punched out Logan Tanner to get out of the top half of the inning.
Get ready for Will Bednar in the bottom half.
Mississippi State vs. Vanderbilt, national championship — pregame
Game 3 of the 2021 CWS finals is here. Mississippi State and Vanderbilt will play for the national championship tonight at 7 p.m. ET. The weather is looking beautiful, the fans are filing in, and it all comes down to this.
Game 1 saw an 8-2 win for Vanderbilt after a seven-run inning in the bottom of the first for the Commodores and Jack Leiter on the mound. But, the Bulldogs flipped the narrative last night with a 13-2 win and a strong outing for Houston Harding and Preston Johnson. Tonight, we have the matchup that we have all been waiting for. Kumar Rocker vs. Will Bednar. Vandy's hard-throwing righty that won MOP in their 2019 national title run, and Bednar, who has been close to unstoppable in his two starts in the CWS. Bednar will be on just three days of rest, but Landon Sims will be available out of the bullpen.
Here are the starting lineups for tonight's matchup. Something to note in MSU's starting lineup is that Brayland Skinner is in for Brad Cumbest. Cumbest came out late last night after getting hit in the wrist by a pitch.
Mississippi State, Vanderbilt play for national title Wednesday night
The 2021 college baseball season comes down to tonight when Mississippi State and Vanderbilt meet in Game 3 of the College World Series finals. For Vanderbilt, Wednesday's game is a chance to complete a title defense and make the Commodores the third back-to-back champions in the past 15 years while Mississippi State is a one win away from the school's first national championship in any team sport. Here's the schedule for tonight:
Vanderbilt vs. Mississippi State | 7 p.m. ET | ESPN2 | Live stats
Click or tap here for the full interactive bracket
The Bulldogs forced a winner-take-all situation with a dominant 13-2 win Tuesday night. In Game 2, the Commodores' staff gave up 14 hits, 13 runs and 10 walks. Mississippi State opened the scoring in the first inning and though Vanderbilt tied the game on a home run in the next half inning, it was MSU that responded with the offensive deluge this time as TD Ameritrade Park transformed back into Starkville North. MSU chased Vanderbilt starter Christian Little after two-plus innings, tagging him for five runs before piling it on against the 'Dores bullpen. Scotty Dubrule led the way for the Bulldogs with four RBIs. Here's how he described it:
Each team has run into pitching problems once. Mississippi State used six arms in Game 1. Vanderbilt countered with five in Game 2. That's not as likely a case tonight with the expected matchup on the mound of Kumar Rocker and Will Bednar.
Rocker's been here before. His 4-0 career record in Omaha makes him as a good a candidate as any to pitch on the last day of the season. Bednar, a sophomore, is only on three days rest, potentially limiting his availability. But he's had the hot hand with 22 strikeouts, five hits and three walks over 12.1 innings at the CWS. And let's not forget about lockdown reliever Landon Sims waiting in the MSU bullpen for the late innings.
Mississippi State doesn't let up against Vanderbilt, forces Game 3
Mississippi State won’t go quietly into the night. After an 8-2 loss to Vanderbilt on Monday, the Bulldogs flipped the script on Tuesday. They trounced the Commodores, 13-2, in Game 2 of the College World Series finals, forcing Game 3. A two-hour weather delay that pushed back first pitch seemed to only postpone the inevitable.
Both Mississippi State and Vanderbilt are one win away from a national championship. Only one team will be crowned.
Click or tap here to view the interactive bracket
Mississippi State’s first inning mimicked Game 1’s. The Bulldogs scored first in their first frame off a long RBI single to right by Luke Hancock. Vanderbilt’s CJ Rodriguez’s tied the game with a solo home run in the second.
But that’s when the similarities to Game 1 ended. Mississippi State outscored Vanderbilt 12-1 from the third inning on, scoring in four of the first five innings.
The Bulldogs chased Vandy starter Christian Little after he walked in a run in the third to break the tie, 2-1. It was his third walk of the inning.
Three more Bulldogs would score off a single and passed ball before the third out. In total, four walks were drawn in the third inning.
Vanderbilt walked the bases loaded in the fourth, leading to MSU’s sixth run, which was scored on a fielder’s choice. Seven more Bulldogs would cross the plate thereafter.
MSU used just two pitchers Tuesday — Houston Harding and Preston Johnson. They struck out 11 and limited the Commodores to two runs on four hits and three walks.
Hear from Mississippi State's Scotty Dubrule, who led the team with 4 RBIs:
Mississippi State breaks it open in the 7th, takes 13-1
Keep em' coming ... State. The Bulldogs break this thing open in the 7th to put up five runs and extend their dominating lead with some aggressive base running and three base hits. Allen reached base for the fourth time after getting hit by a pitch before proceeding to steal both second and third. Hancock and Logan Tanner drew walks before Dubrule got his fourth RBI of the game. It didn't end there though, another batter hit by pitch, Forsythe with a two-RBI single, and Rowdey Jordan picked up his first hit of the game to tack on another.
13-1 Mississipi State.
Mississippi State pours on some more, leads 8-1
This Mississippi State team kept their foot on the gas pedal in fifth. Lane Forsythe got it all started with a base hit and Tanner Allen got his second hit of the night to put two on. Kamren James singled up the middle to score Forsythe and Luke Hancock, now 2-for-2, singled to left center to score Allen.
Roles are reversed tonight as Mississippi State takes a demanding 8-1 lead. Vandy can't seem to put it all together tonight with two errors defensively, and eight walks.
📍Dudy Noble North pic.twitter.com/mxDGEP0lu9— Mississippi State Baseball (@HailStateBB) June 30, 2021
Another long half inning, MSU leads 6-1
Vanderbilt escaped what could've been a disastrous inning with just one-run allowed. Tanner Allen walked and advanced to second again on a wild pitch, Kamren James walked, then stole second and then Luke Hancock drew the third consecutive walk of the inning before Tim Corbin took out Patrick Reilly. Scotty Drubule reached on a fielder's choice to shortstop but picked up an RBI before Nelson Berkwich struck out Cumbest to get Vandy out of the jam.
Preston Johnson is in to pitch for Mississippi State in the top of the fifth.
Mississippi State takes a 5-1 lead in the bottom of the third
The Bulldogs have retaken the lead after Christian Little ran into some trouble in the bottom of the third. Tanner Allen singled to start the bottom half of the inning and then stole second on a wild pitch before Little walked three consecutive batters. With bases loaded and zero outs, Tim Corbin turned to his bullpen and Patrick Reilly, who came in to face Scotty Drubrule. Drubrule singled up the middle to send two more runs home and all of a sudden, it started feeling awfully similar to the bottom of the first inning for Vanderbilt last night.
Scotty plates a pair ✌️ pic.twitter.com/faUkpN43R7— Mississippi State Baseball (@HailStateBB) June 30, 2021
Brad Cumbest reached on a fielders choice for the first out of the inning, but Kellum Clark drew another walk before a wild pitch sent the fourth run of the inning across home plate. Rowdey Jordan and Tanner Allen were on deck with runners on second and third and a chance to blow this game open, but Jordan sent a light dribbler back to the mound for the third out of the inning.
Vandy ties it up with CJ Rodriguez bomb
And with one stroke of the bat, we have a tie ballgame. CJ Rodriguez blasted his fifth home run of the year and we have a new ballgame tied up at one.
CJ RODRIGUEZ TIES IT UP‼️#CWS x @VandyBoys x 🎥 ESPN pic.twitter.com/qt9UCty6n5— NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS) June 30, 2021
Mississippi State takes a 1-0 lead
Houston Harding retired three straight Vandy batters in the top of the first to get this Hail State crowd immediately involved. Quite different than the seven-run inning for Vanderbilt in the bottom of the first in Game 1. Christian Little and the Vandy defense retired the most dangerous part of Mississippi State's lineup in Rowdey Jordan and Tanner Allen, but Jayson Gonzalez made a throwing error to first that took Dominic Keegan off the bag, and Kamren James was called safe at first.
Luke Hancock stepped up to the plate and drilled an RBI single deep into right field, and they sent James all the way around to plate the first run of the game.
Mississippi State takes the early lead!— NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS) June 30, 2021
📺 ESPN#CWS x @HailStateBB pic.twitter.com/BMnNruZEZS
First pitch for Game 2 of the CWS finals will be at 9:09 p.m. ET
First pitch for Game 2 of the CWS finals between Vanderbilt and Mississippi State will be at 9:09 p.m. ET. The skies have cleared here in Omaha and tarp is coming off.
⚾️ #CWS GAME UPDATE ⚾️— NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS) June 30, 2021
First pitch for CWS Finals Game 2 will be 8:09 PM CT. pic.twitter.com/7VXR5NRhqS
Tonight could mean one of two things: Vanderbilt wins the national title, the first team to do so back-to-back since South Carolina in 2011. Or, Mississippi State forces a Game 3 on Wednesday. Houston Harding will start out on the mound tonight for Mississippi State, and Christian Little will get his second start of the CWS for Vanderbilt.
Here are the starting lineups: