The No. 2 Texas Longhorns and the No. 7 Mississippi State Bulldogs went back-and-forth in Saturday night's game, but the Bulldogs managed to stay alive thanks to Tanner Leggett's walk-off single making the final 4-3.
"It was an unbelievable season," Texas center fielder Mike Antico said. "It's a special group of guys, and we worked as hard as we possibly can. We didn't leave any stone unturned on our way here. I mean, no regrets at all."
MSU and SEC Player of the Year Tanner Allen has been impressive at the plate throughout the College World Series and this game was no different.
In the third inning, Allen drove in Kellum Clark to make the score 2-1., answering to Cam Williams' two run homer, which allowed the Horns to get ahead in the second.
Other notable Longhorns' hitters were Antico and Douglas Hodo III. In the fifth inning, Hodo III doubled to put himself in scoring position and did just that after Antico doubled to right center field.
The Longhorns managed to keep the lead until the sixth inning when Logan Tanner hit a double to tie the game 3-3. After Tanner's hit, Horns pitcher Cole Quintanilla (L 5-1) came in relief for Tristan Stevens leaving the bases loaded with two strikeouts in the sixth.
Although the Horns came up short, Quintanilla had five strikeouts and allowed only two hits to the Bulldogs.
"You know, I just went out there and tried to leave it all out on the line for my brothers," Quintanilla said. "Just doing everything I can to keep us in the game and everything I had, just leave it out there."
However, it was Mississippi State's exceptional pitching that held the Horns after three. The Bulldogs starting pitcher Will Bednar recorded seven strikeouts, keeping the game neck and neck.
Then Landon Sims (W 5-0), who came in relief for Bednar in the seventh, held the Longhorns with two strikeouts. To finish off the game, Sims had a total of four strikeouts, no hits and no runs.
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When Leggett was asked in the post-game interview about Sims' phenomenal pitching performance he said, "Absolutely incredible, thank God he's on our team."
It appeared that the Horns might score in the top of the ninth when Dylan Campbell, who pinch ran for Melendez after being hit by a pitch, was in scoring position on third with two outs. However, Hodo III flew out to right field it was back to defense.
Shortly after, Leggett hit the RBI game winner for Mississippi State.
"I'm really proud of these guys," Quintanilla said. "The season didn't start off how we wanted to, but I think we showed how tough we are."
The Bulldogs will face the No. 3 national seed Vanderbilt on Monday in the College World Series Finals. The Commodores path to the three game series was less demanding with an automatic advancement due to the cancelation of the North Carolina State game as a result of COVID-19 protocols.
Despite the fact that the Bulldogs are facing the reigning national champs, they have momentum on their side after upsetting the No. 2 team in the country for the third time.
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