MS State headed to Omaha for third straight year
The following was originally published on hailstate.com.
STARKVILLE,Miss. - Its third win on a Monday in 2021 was the sweetest of them all, as the No. 3 Mississippi State baseball program earned its 12th trip to the College World Series with an 11-7 victory over No. 4 Notre Dame in front of a packed Dudy Noble Field in the Starkville Super Regional.
The nation's longest active streak of College World Series appearances reaches three and makes Mississippi State one of just 10 programs to advance to at least three straight CWS since the Super Regional format began in 1999. It is the first time in program history that MSU has reached three straight College World Series.
11,754 packed Dudy Noble Field Monday night, the ballpark's third crowd of over 11,000 during the Starkville Super Regional. The Dude's series attendance totaled 40,140, setting the NCAA record for the largest crowd in an on-campus, three-game series. Mississippi State (45-16) scored in each of the first five innings, with a single run in the first followed by a six-run second inning. One more in the third, two in the fourth and one in the fifth helped MSU build a 11-5 lead. Notre Dame (34-13) added two more runs in the seventh to make it 11-7 and put two runners on base with one out in the ninth, before State rolled a double play to end the game.
Eight of nine starters drove in at least one RBI in the game and seven collected hits. Five Diamond Dawgs posted multi-hit games, as Tanner Allen, Brad Cumbest, Scotty Dubrule, Kamren James and Logan Tanner each chipped in two hits. Tanner drove in three RBIs, including his 14th home run of the season.
Allen hit his 10th home run of the year, scored two runs and drove in two RBIs. With Allen reaching the 10 home run mark, it is the first Mississippi State team to have five hitters reach double digits in home runs in the same season.
Houston Harding made the start and tossed four innings of two-run work in the no decision. He struck out four and walked two, before handing the ball to Stone Simmons and eventually Landon Sims (3-0). Sims picked up the win with four innings and two runs allowed, to go along with four strikeouts. Simmons also struck out two in his one inning of work to give Mississippi State its 48th game in 61 tries with at least 10 strikeouts.
For Notre Dame, Ryan Cole, Niko Kavadas and Carter Putz each drove in two RBIs in the game, with Cole and Spencer Myers each with three hits. Will Mercer (4-3) took the loss in the start with four runs - three earned - allowed on three hits and two walks.
Head coach Chris Lemonis
On the culture he is trying to build
CL: Well, it was here when we got here. Obviously when you decide to go to Mississippi State, you're going to a program where that's the aspiration. That's why we have the ballpark we do, the fanbase we do. Our goal was to keep it moving and keep it moving forward. The nice part is all these young players in the program right now have experienced it and they want it. That just continues to grow and sets the expectation higher. That's why I'm thankful that Tanner [Allen] and Rowdey [Jordan] decided to come back. I'm so happy for them, and last year at this time, we didn't know what they were going to do. Coming back and being able to go to Omaha for a third time with the park packed just makes up for a lot that we lost last year.
Ryan Cole hit a solo home run to right field to score the first run of the game.
Notre Dame 1, Mississippi State 0
Rowdey Jordan reached on an error and advanced to second on a Kamren James single before he scored on Luke Hancock's RBI single.
Mississippi State 1, Notre Dame 1
Brad Cumbest singled to right field before two back-to-back walks were issued for Kellum Clark and Lane Forsythe to load the bases. Jordan reached on a fielder's choice to plate one and Tanner Allen's sacrifice fly scored another for the Bulldogs. Jordan stole second before he scored on James' single to left field. Hancock walked and scored on Logan Tanner's 3 RBI home run to take a significant early lead.
Mississippi State 7, Notre Dame 1
David LaManna doubled to left field and scored on Spencer Myers' RBI single.
Mississippi State 7, Notre Dame 2
Allen hit his 10th home run of the season, a solo shot to right center.
Mississippi State 8, Notre Dame 2
Tanner doubled to right field before Cumbest and Clark produced back-to-back RBI doubles to plate two.
Mississippi State 10, Notre Dame 2
Myers singled to right field and advanced to third on an error before he scored on Cole's single to left field. Jared Miller walked and scored on Carter Putz 2-RBI double to left field.
Mississippi State 10, Notre Dame 5
Allen doubled to left field, advanced on a ground out and scored on Scotty Dubrule's single up the middle.
Mississippi State 11, Notre Dame 5
Cole walked and scored on Niko Kavadas' 2-RBI home run.
Mississippi State 11, Notre Dame 7
Omaha: Somewhere in middle America