Bulldogs top Cardinal, return to College World Series

Mississippi State's Marshall Gilbert reacts after a sacrifice bunt to move runners into scoring position during the 10th inning of the Southeastern Conference tournament NCAA college baseball game against LSU, early morning Thursday, May 23, 2019, in Hoover, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

STARKVILLE, Miss. — Peyton Plumlee pitched 6 2/3 strong innings, Dustin Skelton had a three-run triple and Mississippi State advanced to the College World Series for a second straight season after beating Stanford 8-1 on Sunday night in the NCAA’s super regionals.

The Bulldogs needed just two games to win the best-of-three series thanks to stellar pitching and timely hitting.

Mississippi State (51-13) broke the game open with four runs in the third inning. Stanford pitcher Erik Miller hit a batter and walked two during the rally, including one with the bases loaded. Skelton’s bases-loaded triple was the big blow, bouncing high off the right-center field wall to make it 4-1.

Stanford’s Christian Robinson and Brandon Wulff collided while trying to make the catch in front of Mississippi State’s rowdy outfield crowd. The umpires reviewed the play to see if there was fan interference, but ruled that none had occurred.

The game stayed fairly tight until the ninth, when Mississippi State’s Elijah MacNamee launched a three-run homer that left little doubt about the outcome.

Stanford (45-14) had a great start to the game when leadoff batter Kyle Stowers hit a solo homer. But Plumlee (7-4) was brilliant from that point forward and the senior right-hander didn’t allow another hit until the seventh innings. He struck out six and walked one.

The left-handed Miller (8-3) took the loss, giving up four earned runs over 2 2/3 innings. He gave up just two hits but walked four.

MORE HITS FOR MANGUM

Mississippi State leadoff hitter Jake Mangum had two more hits Sunday, raising his season total to 103. The senior has 378 career hits, which is fifth in NCAA history. He could realistically rise as high as No. 3 if he plays well in the College World Series.

Mangum’s biggest highlight during this super regional was actually in the field. He robbed a potential grand slam in the first inning of Game 1, jumping above the fence to grab Andrew Daschbach’s drive to center.

UP NEXT

Mississippi State will play the winner of the Auburn/North Carolina super regional in the opening round of the College World Series.

Stanford falls just short of making the CWS for the first time since 2008.

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