Mississippi State finishes remarkable comeback, beats Virginia 6-5 in College World Series

by 24USATVJune 23, 2021, 5 a.m. 21
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At the start of the eighth inning, Mississippi State baseball was facing the prospect of being the third team ever to be no-hit in the College World Series. By the end of that inning, the Bulldogs had a lead and a few unforgettable highlight reel moments.

Mississippi State rallied from a four-run deficit to beat Virginia 6-5 Tuesday night, putting the Bulldogs within one win of the College World Series final. SEC Player of the Year Tanner Allen provided the big swing, launching a go-ahead three-run home run in the top of the eighth inning.

The Bulldogs (47-16) will play a rematch against either Virginia (36-26) or Texas on Friday. The Bulldogs will then get two chances to win one game for a chance to play in the College World Series championship.

FOR SUBSCRIBERS:How Mississippi State baseball pulled off its extraordinary College World Series comeback

Virginia pitcher Griff McGarry entered the eighth inning with a no-hitter in tact. He'd allowed only two base runners on one walk and one hit-by-pitch. But Mississippi State drew a walk to lead off the eighth, and then designated hitter Kellum Clark blasted a two-run home run to tag McGarry with his first hit and a pair of runs.

Now facing the Virginia bullpen, Mississippi State pounced. Josh Hatcher singled. Rowdey Jordan doubled. Then Allen hit the go-ahead shot against Virginia closer Stephen Schoch. Schoch allowed another single and a walk before leaving the game having recorded only one out.

Against Schoch's replacement Nate Savino, Mississippi State extended its lead to 6-4 with a Scotty Dubrule single.

McGarry struck out eight batters on 98 pitches, allowing four runners to reach on two walks, one hit-by-pitch and the home run. McGarry threw seven shutout innings and carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning in his previous start in the super regionals against Dallas Baptist.

Mississippi State has scored in only two of the 18 innings it's played so far in the College World Series but still has come away with two wins.

Virginia tagged Mississippi State started Christian MacLeod for four runs in 1⅓ innings. MacLeod allowed five hits and two walks before being replaced in the second inning.

From there, Mississippi State turned to its deep bullpen to throw 7⅔ innings of one-run ball. Mississippi State pitchers stranded 10 Virginia runners despite the Cavaliers batting 5-for-11 with runners in scoring position.

Virginia scored one run on a solo shot in the bottom of the eighth inning after Mississippi State's rally. The Bulldogs turned to closer Landon Sims two days after he threw 52 pitches and Sims closed the last four outs. Sims pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning to close out his second game in as many tries in Omaha.

Mississippi State used seven pitchers after MacLeod, none for longer than two innings. The Bulldogs' bullpen allowed only seven hits and two walks, striking out five Cavaliers.

Mississippi State will return to action Friday at 6 p.m. CT in a game that will be televised on ESPN.

Contact Nick Suss at 601-408-2674 or [email protected] Follow @nicksuss on Twitter.

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