Ivan Melendez smashed a three-run homer in the top of the ninth inning to lift Texas to an 8-5 win over Mississippi State and force a rematch Saturday in Omaha, Neb., with a spot in the College World Series finals on the line.
After a pitching change in the top of the ninth, the game entered into a weather delay of more than two hours.
Mississippi State tried to rally in the bottom of the ninth against Aaron Nixon and brought the tying run to the plate.
Tanner Allen reached on a throwing error by first baseman Zach Zubia, and after a flyout, Allen stole second. Luke Hancock drew his third walk of the game. Nixon recovered to get an infield popup and a groundout to shortstop to end the game.
Texas led 5-2 heading into the bottom of the eighth, but the Bulldogs loaded the bases after a double by Allen and two walks. Scotty Dubrule drew a four-pitch walk to score Allen, and Brad Cumbest singled home two more to tie the score.
Longhorns starter Ty Madden lasted six innings, giving up two runs, four hits and three walks while striking out eight.
Nixon picked up the win, keeping the Bulldogs off the scoreboard despite giving up a hit and two walks in 1 2/3 innings. Losing pitcher Brandon Smith was charged with one run on two walks in 1 2/3 innings.
Mississippi State had beaten Texas 2-1 in each team’s first game of the College World Series. The winner of Saturday’s game will play Vanderbilt in the College World Series finals after North Carolina State was eliminated by the NCAA early Saturday morning due to COVID-19 protocol issues.
–Field Level Media