OMAHA, Neb. – A Mississippi State baseball season full of twists and turns saw its final chapter written Saturday night.
A late two-out rally by MSU fell just short in a 5-2 loss to No. 3 national seed Oregon State in the semifinal round of the College World Series played at TD Ameritrade Park. The Maroon and White was held to four total hits in the contest.
MSU (39-29) fell to Oregon State (53-11-1) on back-to-back days in the event. The Bulldogs had won five straight postseason elimination games before falling to the Beavers Saturday night.
Oregon State will advance to face Arkansas in the College World Series championship series next week, while MSU will enter the offseason after its 10th appearance in the College World Series.
The Bulldogs battled hard throughout the season overcoming an early coaching change and an abbreviated home schedule due to construction at Dudy Noble Field to finish 15-15 in Southeastern Conference play.
In the postseason, the Bulldogs won the Tallahassee Regional and Nashville Super Regional with walk-off magic needed in both places. Overall, the Bulldogs won 11 times in their final at-bat this season.
The walk-off magic continued in Omaha with MSU besting Washington 1-0 on the first day of the tournament. A 12-2 win over North Carolina sent the Bulldogs 2-0 in Omaha for only the third time in program history.
The magic ran out from there with Oregon State pitching holding the Bulldogs to nine hits in two games. Oregon State set up the winner-take-all game with a 12-2 victory Friday afternoon.
Saturday’s contest was decided when the Beavers scored five runs after there were two outs in the third inning. The big blow was a three-run home run by Tyler Malone.
The Beavers strung together five straight hits after MSU starter Ethan Small got the first two outs in the inning.
Small (5-4) worked 4.2 innings, allowing seven hits and five runs (all earned). Cole Gordon was dominant in relief, throwing the final 4.1 innings, while allowing one hit and no runs with three strikeouts.
Oregon State starter Kevin Abel threw seven innings. Abel (6-1) allowed three hits and one run (earned), with five strikeouts and three walks. Jake Mulholland completed the contest.
The Bulldogs scored in the third inning when a pair of walks preceded a Rowdey Jordan RBI-single.
A line drive double play snuffed the Bulldogs’ next best scoring threat in the sixth inning.
In the ninth inning, the Beavers issued back-to-back two-out walks to Elijah MacNamee and Justin Foscue. Luke Alexander connected for a two-out RBI-single. Pinch hitter Tanner Poole then reached as a hit batsman. A force play at second on a ground ball then ended the contest.
Jordan finished with two of the Bulldogs’ four hits.