For the first time in school history, Mississippi State can claim a national championship.
And when Bulldog fans recount how it happened, the story will start with starting pitcher Will Bednar. Pitching on just three days’ rest, Bednar held the Vanderbilt lineup hitless through six innings, outpitching Commodore star Kumar Rocker, who had never lost a College World Series game.
The lineup steadily piled on throughout the game, with two home runs in the seventh inning helping to seal a rout of the reigning national champions and deliver the baseball crown to Mississippi State in a 9-0 win in Game 3 of the finals on Wednesday.
Coming into this year, the Bulldogs had made 11 College World Series appearances without a title, the third-most of any team in college baseball. Mississippi State as a school had never won a national championship in any sport.
It wasn’t unitl the eighth inning that the Commodores picked up hit, but it would be their only one of the final game. Bednar struck out four and walked in his six no-hit innings and relief ace Landon Sims picked up the save with three scoreless innings, with four strikeouts and a walk to go with the hit allowed.
Vanderbilt continued to play sloppy defense as it finished the College World Series with 13 errors, the most of the eight teams that played in the tournament. Mississippi State had zero errors during its title run.
An error in the first inning gave the Bulldogs the lead. A comebacker to Rocker looked like a routine double play, but the right-hander missed the second baseman and threw the ball into center field, putting runners on the corners. The next batter, first baseman Luke Hancock, lifted a sacrifice fly to give Mississippi State a 1-0 lead.
The Bulldogs added two runs in the second inning and two more in the fifth, the final run chasing Rocker from the mound. They then blew the doors open in the seventh with four runs. Catcher Logan Tanner hit a solo homer and freshman designated hitter Kellum Clark crushed a three-run shot to right to make it 9-0.
Sporting News provided live updates from Game 3 of the College World Series finals between Vanderbilt and Mississippi State (all times Eastern).
College World Series finals updates, highlights from Game 3
10:05 p.m.: Here’s the final out in Mississippi State’s national championship victory.
10:01 p.m.: Noland attempts a drag bunt, but it’s fielded cleanly and thrown for the final out of the game. Mississippi State has won the 2021 College World Series.
10 p.m.: Sims catches Keegan looking. Two outs now in the ninth.
9:57 p.m.: Vaz grounds out to shortstop. One away.
9:54 p.m. End Top Ninth: Jordan flies out to right. Mississippi State returning to the field to end this series.
9:53 p.m.: Forsythe singles to give the Bulldogs a baserunner with two outs in the inning.
9:49 p.m.: Thomas Schultz on to pitch for the Commodores.
9:46 p.m. End of Eighth: Bradfield bounces into a fielder’s choice to end the inning, and the Bulldogs now just need to get three more outs to win the College World Series.
9:45 p.m.: Gonzalez walks to put two runners on for the Commodores in the bottom of the eighth inning.
9:40 p.m.: Carter Young breaks up the combined no-hitter with a single up the middle.
9:34 p.m. End Top Eighth: Murphy strands the runner on third to keep the game at a 9-0 Mississippi State advantage.
9:31 p.m.: Hancock singles to right and a fielding error by Thomas allows him to reach second.
9:31 p.m.: The College World Series announced it has set attendance records for total attendance, finals series attendance and finals Game 3 attendance.
9:27 p.m. End of Seventh: Sims goes 1-2-3 with a pair of strikeouts. The Bulldogs now have only six outs remaining to finish off the combined no-hitter and win the College World Series.
9:24 p.m.: Landon Sims is now on the mound for the Bulldogs. Bednar finishes his outing with six innings, no hits, three walks and four strikeouts.
9:21 p.m. End Top Seventh: A lineout to third base ends the inning, but the Bulldogs are in full command of this one.
9:15 p.m.: A walk issued by McElvain to Forsythe brings in a new pitcher. Luke Murphy in now for the Commodores.
9:13 p.m. Mississippi State scoring play: The freshman crushes the first pitch he sees over the right field wall for a three-run home run. The Bulldogs have blown this game open. Mississippi State extends lead to 9-0.
9:13 p.m.: Skinner walks to put two runners on base for Clark.
9:09 p.m.: Dubrule follows up the home run with a base hit into right. Runner on first with one out for Skinner.
9:08 p.m. Mississippi State scoring play: Tanner launches a home run to left field, his 15th home run this season, to build on the Bulldogs’ lead. Mississippi State extends lead to 6-0.
9:04 p.m. End of Sixth: Bednar, pitching on short rest, has now gone through six innings without allowing a hit to Vanderbilt in the College World Series title game. The Bulldogs are nine outs away from winning a national championship.
8:59 p.m. End Top Sixth: McElvain strikes out James to leave Allen on second.
8:57 p.m.: Allen picks up his second hit of the night with a double roped down the right field line. Runner in scoring position now with two outs in the top of the sixth inning.
8:52 p.m. End of Fifth: Bednar continues to dominate. He set the Commodores down in order, capped off with a strikeout of Isaiah Thomas, as he has continued to keep Vanderbilt out of the hit column.
8:46 p.m. End Top Fifth: McElvain catches Clark looking to strand the bases loaded and avoid any more damage. The Mississippi State lead now up to five runs.
8:43 p.m.: Skinner strikes out. Clark now up with two outs and the bases loaded.
8:42 p.m.: McElvain walks Dubrule to load up the bases with one away.
8:38 p.m.: Chris McElvain is the new pitcher for the Commodores.
8:36 p.m. Mississippi State scoring play: Allen delivers with a base hit to score the Bulldogs’ fifth run of the game. That will do it for Rocker’s night and his Vanderbilt career. Mississippi State extends lead to 5-0.
8:33 p.m. Mississippi State scoring play: Hancock singles up the middle to drive in Jordan and put runners on the corners for Tanner. Mississippi State extends lead to 4-0.
8:32 p.m.: James strikes out swinging. Hancock batting now with a chance to drive in more runs after he hit a sacrifice fly to give Mississippi State the early lead.
8:30 p.m.: Jordan and Allen start the fifth with a pair of singles to put two runners on base for Kamren James with nobody out.
8:26 p.m. End of Fourth: Bednar again sets down the Commodores in order. Vanderbilt has walked three times, but the team remains out of the hit column through the first four innings.
8:19 p.m. End Top Fourth: After the walk, Rocker strikes out the next three in order to strand the runner. Commodores batting hoping to cut back into this deficit.
8:13 p.m.: Another field error by the Commodores as Dubrule reaches on a booted ground ball by Noland. Vanderbilt has 12 errors so far this College World Series.
8:10 p.m. End of Third: Bednar responds with a 1-2-3 inning of his own with three groundouts. Bulldogs hanging on to their 3-0 lead.
8:05 p.m. End Top Third: Rocker sets the Bulldogs down in order, with the first out coming on this impressive running grab by Bradfield.
8 p.m. End of Second: Bednar strikes out the next two batters to set down the side.
7:57 p.m.: Jones steals second base to put a runner in scoring position with one away.
7:55 p.m.: Spencer Jones works an 11-pitch walk to give Vanderbilt a leadoff base runner.
7:49 p.m. End Top Second: Allen grounds out to right, but the damage is done. Bulldogs now leading by three runs.
7:48 p.m. Mississippi State scoring play: Jordan lines a base hit down the left field line for a double that brings in Skinner. Still two out with a runner in scoring position for Allen. Mississippi State extends lead to 3-0.
7:44 p.m. Mississippi State scoring play: Lane Forsythe rolls one out to shortstop that allows Dubrule to score. Now two away with a runner on second for Jordan. Mississippi State extends lead to 2-0.
7:43 p.m.: Clark grounds out to the right side, but the slow roller allows both runners to move into scoring position. One away in the top of the second.
7:40 p.m.: Now Brayland Skinner walks to put a pair of baserunners on for the Bulldogs. Kellum Clark now up to bat with a chance to drive in a run.
7:39 p.m.: Scotty Dubrule leads off the Mississippi State second inning with a walk.
7:34 p.m. End of First: Noland grounds into a 6-4-3 double play as Bednar is able to escape the inning without allowing anyone to score.
7:30 p.m.: Keegan walks to put two runners on base now for Parker Noland.
7:27 p.m.: After striking out Enrique Bradfield Jr., Bednar walks Javier Vaz to put a runner on base for Dominic Keegan.
7:21 p.m. End Top First: Rocker strikes out Logan Tanner to leave a runner on first, but the damage is done as the Bulldogs take the early lead on the Commodores.
7:16 p.m. Mississippi State scoring play: The Bulldogs strike first as Hancock lifts a sacrifice fly to right field that scores Jordan and gives Mississippi State the lead. Third straight game they’ve scored first. Mississippi State takes a 1-0 lead.
7:12 p.m.: What should have been a double play on a ground ball back to Rocker results in a throwing error by the Vanderbilt starting pitcher and puts runners on the corners with one out for Luke Hancock.
7:12 p.m.: Rocker drops a curveball inside to Tanner Allen and gets the call for strike three. First out of the inning.
7:09 p.m.: Rowdey Jordan likes the first pitch he sees and lines a fastball into right field for a leadoff single.
7:07 p.m.: Vanderbilt is taking the field to get ready to throw out the first pitch in this one.
6:45 p.m.: No rain delays in Omaha tonight. The weather is partly cloudy and is sitting at 84 degrees out there, according to the Weather Channel.
6:30 p.m.: Here’s how the two teams will be lining up for the final game of the college baseball season.
How to watch 2021 College World Series finals Game 3
ESPN continues its coverage of the College World Series with the third game of the series set to air on ESPN2.
Viewers will also be able to stream the College World Series finals on ESPN+ or fuboTV, which offers a free seven-day trial.
College World Series schedule, scores
Monday, June 28
Tuesday, June 29
Wednesday, June 30
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