Tuesday night was a different story in the best of ways for Mississippi State as the Bulldogs bested the Vanderbilt Commodores 13-2 in Game 2 of the College World Series finals.
That's a far cry from the 8-2 loss they suffered in the first game of the series, which was largely due to a first inning that quickly got out of hand in which Vanderbilt scored seven runs.
Vanderbilt sent five freshman pitchers to the mound -- Christian Little, Patrick Reilly, Nelson Berkwich, Hunter Owen and Donye Evans -- who combined for 14 hits allowed and 10 walks with 10 strikeouts on 212 pitches.
The Bulldogs, though, saw superior performances out of pitchers Houston Harding and Preston Johnson.
Harding started the game and put in four innings of work, allowing only one run and two hits. Johnson took the reins from there, also allowing just one run and two hits.
The Commodores also failed to fire up the bats, only scoring two runs -- a CJ Rodriguez home run in the second inning and a Romero Jr. homer in the top of the ninth inning.
The Bulldogs got out to a quick lead when an error allowed Kamren James to get to first base, followed by Luke Hancock lining a single into right field that scored James.
MSU put runs on the board in in five of the eight innings the Bulldogs batted in, doing a good deal of damage in the third inning when Tanner Allen, Hancock, James and Scotty Dubrule all crossed home base.
That left Vanderbilt trailing 5-1 at the top of the fourth inning, and the deficit only got larger from there as Bulldogs put up eight more runs to the Commodores' one run through the rest on the game.
"We took a punch [Monday] and we came back and played really good baseball," Bulldogs head coach Chris Lemonis said after the game, via team reporter Joel Coleman. "We grinded out some at-bats early. Their [pitchers], had really good stuff but we didn't swing out of the zone. We were able to expand [the score in] that game."
The Bulldogs will face the Commodores one last time to determine who gets the title of best team in college baseball in the final game of the CWS at 6 p.m. CT.
It will be interesting to watch how this one pans out now that both teams have recorded a runaway victory in the finals, and it could very well end up being a defensive contest with some of the best pitchers in the country taking the mound.
Mississippi State starter Will Bednar and reliever Landon Sims haven't pitched in a game since Saturday against the Texas Longhorns, while Kumar Rocker of Vanderbilt hasn't pitched since Friday when the Commodores faced NC State.