Mississippi State has done it again. For the second time this season, the Bulldogs have beaten the University of Texas Longhorns.
Will Bednar drew the start for Mississippi State and was nearly flawless during his time on the mound. Through 6 innings pitched, Bednar struck out 15 of the 21 batters he faced. He had the opportunity to strike out every single member on the Longhorns’ roster and did just that.
But Bednar wasn’t able to win this game on his own. In an effort to duplicate Bednar’s dominant performance, UT’s starter, Ty Madden, did his best to go strikeout-for-strikeout with MSU’s starter.
Madden wasn’t quite able to pull off that feat, but he did make it difficult for the Bulldogs to score.
Still, despite Madden’s best efforts, the Bulldogs tacked a couple of runs onto the board about halfway through the game.
In the top of the 4th inning, Kamren James opened the inning by getting a walk. A single by Luke Hancock put runners on the corner as James scooted on to third. After a strikeout, Scotty Dubrule flew out to center field, which allowed James to move home and put MSU up 1-0.
One batter later, Mississippi State was able to double its lead thanks to a triple from Brad Cumbest. That triple sent Hancock home and gave State a 2-0 lead.
Unfortunately for the Bulldogs (and their fans), things wouldn’t be easy and Texas wouldn’t go down quietly.
At the beginning of the bottom of the 9th, Texas’ Mike Antico launched a home run to right center, cutting right into the Bulldogs’ lead, setting the score at 2-1.
Texas then got back-to-back singles, giving the Longhorns runners at the corners with two outs. MSU’s Landon Sims showed signs of struggling, but was able to shut the UT rally down. A groundout ended the Texas scoring threat and gave Mississippi State a 2-1 win in its first game of the 2021 College World Series.
In the game, the Bulldogs were able to set a CWS single team strikeout record as Bednar and Sims combined for an absurd 21 strikeouts. Mississippi State and the Longhorns combined for 32 strikeouts, another CWS record.
The Bulldogs will now play the Virginia Cavaliers in the winner’s bracket on Tuesday. Texas will face Tennessee in the elimination bracket.