Tanner Leggett’s single in the bottom of the ninth scored Brayland Skinner as seventh-seeded Mississippi State beat No. 2 Texas 4-3 on Saturday in Omaha, Neb., launching the Bulldogs (48-17) into the College World Series finals to play No. 4 Vanderbilt.
Game 1 of the best-of-three series between the two Southeastern Conference foes is slated for Monday at 6 p.m. ET. Game 2 is set for the same time Tuesday, with Game 3, if necessary, set for the same time Wednesday.
The Longhorns (50-17) carried a 3-1 lead into the bottom of the fifth before the Bulldogs’ Brad Cumbest led off with a double to right off Texas starter Tristan Stevens. Kellum Clark followed with a single to put runners at first and third before Lane Forsythe grounded into a double play that plated Cumbest.
Stevens ran into trouble again in the sixth, giving up a leadoff walk to Kamren James, followed by a single from Luke Hancock to put runners at the corners. Logan Tanner then doubled to plate James and tie the score at 3-3, but Cole Quintanilla came on in relief and put out the fire after giving up a walk to the first batter he faced to load the bases with none out.
Quintanilla (5-1) later gave up the decisive hit to Leggett.
The Longhorns built their early lead with a walk by Ivan Melendez and a homer to right one batter later by Cam Williams to go up 2-0. Tanner Allen had a run-scoring single in the third to get the Bulldogs on the board.
Texas went up 3-1 when Douglas Hodo III led off the fifth with a double and Mike Antico hit a two-out double. All three Texas runs were charged to Bulldogs starter Will Bednar. Landon Sims (5-0) picked up the win for Mississippi State with 2 2/3 shutout innings, giving up no hits or walks while striking out four. His only blemish was hitting Ivan Melendez to lead off the top of the ninth.
Vanderbilt (48-16) took two of three from Mississippi State when the teams played a series April 23-25 in Nashville.
–Field Level Media