STARKVILLE - The Dude will see one final game in 2021, as the No. 3 Mississippi State baseball program dropped a 9-1 decision to No. 4 Notre Dame on Sunday (June 13) in the best-of-three NCAA Starkville Super Regional at Dudy Noble Field.
Another huge crowd packed itself into The Dude, as 13,971 fans - the second largest postseason crowd in NCAA history - came through the gates. Mississippi State now owns the top eight all-time largest on-campus crowds in college baseball history, along with the top seven all-time Super Regional crowds since the format began in 1999.
Both offenses struck in the first inning, with Mississippi State (44-16) getting one run and Notre Dame (34-12) getting two runs to take the lead. The Irish offense didn't slow down and scored four more in the fourth inning and two in the sixth inning to make it an 8-1 lead. A run in the seventh capped the scoring at 9-1 to force the winner-take-all game on Monday, June 14 at 6 p.m.
Rowdey Jordan tripled to lead off the game and came in to score the lone run for the Maroon and White. Jordan, Scotty Dubrule and Lane Forsythe were each on base twice in the game, collecting one hit and one walk apiece.
Tanner Allen collected the lone RBI for MSU with his first-inning sacrifice fly and reached on an eighth-inning walk to move his reached base streak to 26 games. His hitting streak came to an end at 22 games. A second-inning single pushed Brad Cumbest's career-long hitting streak to five games.
Mississippi State starting pitcher Christian MacLeod (6-5) allowed just five hits over five innings of work, but seven runs - six earned - came across in his outing. He walked two, hit one batter and struck out seven in the loss. Brandon Smith allowed two runs on three hits in the outing, while Cade Smith threw a clean ninth inning of relief work.
For Notre Dame, Aidan Tyrell (5-1) threw 7 1/3 innings in the start and allowed just one run on five hits to earn the win. He walked three and struck six in the contest. Five Fighting Irish batters collected one hit in the game, with Zack Prajzner the only Notre Dame hitter with multiple hits. The shortstop has three hits, drove in two RBIs and scored once. DJ Lamana and Jack Brannigan each hit home runs, with Lamana plating three RBIs on his and Brannigan bringing in two with his swing.
Head coach Chris Lemonis
On his team's performance on Sunday
CL: I think they are fine. I think we just got out-played. I loved the way our guys went about their business tonight. Obviously, we don't want to make errors, but we had some really good at-bats. They just made plays. Cade Smith went out there late and pitched well. Like I said, it's baseball. You scratch it and get ready to go the next day, and our kids will be ready. They've played in this environment all year, and we've been in this 'Sunday game for the series' a lot this year and our kids have always responded. I'm looking forward to seeing them play tomorrow.
Rowdey Jordan led off the game with a triple, before he scored on Tanner Allen's sacrifice fly.
Mississippi State 1, Notre Dame 0
Ryan Cole was hit-by-pitch and Jared Miller walked before Niko Kavadas singled to right field to load the bases. Zack Prajzner singled to first base to plate a pair of runs.
Notre Dame 2, Mississippi State 1
Carter Putz singled to left field and advanced on a walk to Jack Brannigan. Brooks Coetzee reached on an error that scored Cole before David LaManna hit a three-run home run.
Notre Dame 6, Mississippi State 1
Prajzner singled to left field before Brannigan's home run plated them both.
Notre Dame 8, Mississippi State 1
Cole tripled and scored on Putz's fielder's choice.
Notre Dame 9, Mississippi State 1
A trip to the College World Series is on the line Monday, June 14, evening at Dudy Noble Field as Mississippi State and Notre Dame will throw the first pitch of the winner-take-all contest at 6 p.m. The game will air on either ESPN2 or ESPNU.