Baseball

‘I love the fact that we never quit’: Chris Lemonis discusses Mississippi State’s comeback win over Virginia

OMAHA, NE - June 22, 2021 - Mississippi State Pitcher Jackson Fristoe (#27) celebrates during the 2021 Mens College World Series game between the Mississippi State Bulldogs and the Virginia Cavaliers at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, NE. Photo By Austin Perryman
Mississippi State baseball vs. Virginia Cavaliers. Photo: Austin Perryman/Mississippi State Athletics.

The Mississippi State Bulldogs are 2-0 in the 2021 College World Series after a miraculous comeback win over the Virginia Cavaliers. State has a ton to be proud of from their effort against Virginia and it seems like Chris Lemonis, the Bulldogs’ head coach, certainly enjoyed the win over UVA.

Thankfully, the Mississippi State Athletic Department has made it possible for everyone to see Lemonis and his team celebrate that thrilling win. MSU shared a video of MSU’s head coach speaking with his team following the game.

“Damn, that was fun,” Lemonis exclaimed in the dugout with his team after the Bulldogs completed a comeback against the Virginia Cavaliers.

And he’s right. The Bulldogs’ win over Virginia was incredibly entertaining. I mean, to be completely honest here, the first 7 innings weren’t fun at all.

But from the top of the 8th inning and on?

That was thrilling for everyone involved. Except the Cavaliers and their fans. They probably enjoyed the first 7 innings a lot more than the 8th and 9th innings. Because that’s when good things happened for the Bulldogs and bad things happened for the Cavaliers.

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Down 4-0 late in the game, Mississippi State’s offense came alive in the top of the 8th inning. Scotty Dubrule got the inning started off by getting on base thanks to a walk. After Brad Cumbest flew out, Kellum Clark stepped up to the plate. Clark, a freshman, launched a home run past the right field wall and gave the Bulldogs some life by putting the score at 4-2.

Josh Hatcher then entered the game as a pinch hitter and got on base via a single. Rowdey Jordan followed Hatcher up with a double, giving Mississippi State two in scoring position with one out.

That’s when Tanner Allen stepped up to the plate and took advantage of the crucial moment. Allen sent a home run of his own into the bullpen out past right field and gave the Bulldogs a 5-4 lead over the Virginia Cavaliers.

Luke Hancock’s single gave State a base runner as he was ultimately substituted out for Tanner Leggett as a pinch runner. Logan Tanner then was walked, which moved Hancock over to second base. Having a runner in scoring positions was helpful for MSU when Dubrule got the opportunity to bat again.

Dubrule responded by getting a hit of his own, putting MSU up 6-4.

Ethan Lee, Mississippi State rallies to beat Virginia in College World Series
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If it seems like a lot of names were listed there, that’s because just about everybody in Mississippi State’s lineup contributed and had a part in that comeback.

“It was the entire roster almost tonight. So many guys contributed. So many guys who hadn’t been out there in a while kept us in the game,” Lemonis explained.

Of course, the Bulldogs also went through quite a few arms from their bullpen as well.

The Bulldogs had to rely on just about every available arm in their bullpen to make the win possible. Christian MacLeod drew the start for MSU but wasn’t able to get more than 1.1 innings.

Preston Johnson stepped in, got 2.0 innings of work, getting three strikeouts in the process. Chase Patrick, Parker Stinnett, Cam Tullar, Cade Smith, and Stone Simmons got Mississippi State late into the game without giving up any more damage, allowing Sims to come in and get the final four outs.

Ethan Lee, Mississippi State rallies to beat Virginia in College World Series

Mississippi State’s comeback showed just how tough this group is. The Bulldogs’ head coach seems to agree as well. Despite just how good

“We’re resilient, we’re tough, we won’t give in. That guy pitched a hell of a game for them,” Lemonis stated.

But UVA’s early success on the mound didn’t matter in the end.

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Mississippi State actually wound up giving up another run as the Cavaliers hit a homer of their own in the bottom of the 8th, which took away from MSU’s momentum and cut the score to 6-5.

Still, that one-run lead was still enough for Mississippi State to go on and win.

“Like we talk about in the 8th. Man, the last three outs, six outs in Omaha are the hardest to get and you guys just kept fighting,” Lemonis said.

The Bulldogs were able to get those outs and went on to win 6-5.

Watch Mississippi State’s head coach speak to the Bulldogs in the video below:

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Shoutout to Mississippi State Athletics for sharing this video on their YouTube channel. Visit the official Mississippi State Athletics YouTube channel by clicking here.

How to visit Omaha for the College World Series: Where to eat?

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With the College World Series set to start, NCAA baseball fans from all over the country will be headed to Omaha, Nebraska, to watch the country’s eight best teams play each other with the goal of winning a championship. While it’s often overlooked, Omaha is a city that deserves more credit for everything it has to offer.

I actually had the pleasure of living in Omaha for a couple of years and, despite the bitter winters, I thoroughly enjoyed my time living in the Midwest.

Omaha is a wonderful city with a great food scene, plenty of bars (especially sports bars), and a solid amount of nightlife.

There’s always something happening somewhere in town and, thanks to the size and layout of the city, it’s pretty easy to get just about anywhere you need within 20 to 30 minutes.

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If you’ve got the opportunity to go see the College World Series, you should definitely take it.

And if you’ll be in Omaha, it’s worth getting a few ideas on what to do while you’re there. That’s what this guide is for, to help you get some ideas on what to do during your trip to see your team in the CWS.

Click here for The Underdog Tribune’s official guide to Omaha restaurants and bars for your trip to the College World Series.

For more independent Mississippi State news and commentary, follow The Underdog Tribune on Facebook and Twitter. Follow Ethan Lee on Facebook and Twitter.

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