Mississippi State fends off Huskies

College World Series. June 24, 2016. Photo courtesy of UNO Communications.

Erik Mauro

After an over four-hour game in game one, Washington Huskies and Mississippi State took the field for game two of the 2018 College World Series on Saturday night.

Washington is making their first ever appearance in Omaha. Mississippi State is making their tenth appearance, quite the contrast in traditions between these schools.

For the Huskies, who won the Conway regional, sweeping through all three games, before knocking off college baseball power Cal State Fullerton in three games in the Super Regionals.

Mississippi State dealt with some adversity this year. They lost their coach after the first series of the season due to some off-field issues, and kind of trudged through the middle part of the season.

The ‘Dogs got hot near the end of the year, carrying that momentum throughout the postseason. They won the Tallahassee regional, coming from the losers’ bracket to do it, including a walk off three run home run by Elijah McNamee to keep their season alive. In the Super Regionals, they faced conference foe Vanderbilt on the road. They were able to win two of three to place themselves in Omaha.

It was a David vs Goliath type of matchup here, and this game was played at a much brisker pace than game one. It was a scoreless game in the third inning, when the first real scoring chance arrived. Washington loaded the bases, before Bulldog pitcher Ethan Small induced a ground ball double play to end the threat.

There would not be too much of a threat until the very last inning. Yes, the ninth. The Bulldogs’ Hunter Stovall and McNamee hit back to back singles with nobody out. Two batters later, light hitting shortstop Luke Alexander would serve one over right fielder Christian Jones’ head, allowing the winning run to score for a final score of 1-0.

“Luke went through a rough patch in May. He didn’t get many hits for awhile,” Bulldog interim head coach Gary Henderson said. “He hung in there and he’s doing a great job for us now.”

Mississippi State now moves to the winner’s bracket game against North Carolina on Monday at 6 P.M. Washington moves to the loser’s bracket, facing Oregon State on Monday at 1 P.M.