Auburn held a 4-1 edge over Mississippi State heading into the bottom of the 9th inning of their clash in Omaha Sunday night. The Tigers seemed destined to play in the winner’s bracket against the Vanderbilt Commodores on Tuesday, while State was three outs away from being whisked into a must-win game against the Louisville Cardinals.
Things unraveled however for the Tigers, and they soon found themselves on the other side of the coin. State pulled off a memorable rally and the subsequent meltdown by Auburn gave way to a miraculous 5-4 win for the Bulldogs on Sunday night.
Auburn got things started in the top of the 2nd. With two outs, Rankin Woley singled and Edouard Julien homered to right field to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead. Two innings later, Conor Davis led off with a walk, but Will Holland grounded into a double play. But Auburn wasn’t completely done yet. Steven Williams and the aforementioned Woley drew walks to put two on for Julien. He responded by singling to center field to bring Williams around to score to make it 3-0.
Mississippi State finally got on the board in the bottom of the 6th. Gunner Halter hit a single with one out in the inning to bring Dustin Skelton in to score the Bulldogs’ first run of the game. But the deficit grew up to 4-1 after Williams struck in the top of the 8th with an RBI single to bring Holland around to score.
That set the stage for the dramatics in the bottom of the 9th. Jake Mangum kicked things off with a double to right. After Jordan Westburg struck out, Tanner Allen drew a walk to put two ducks on the pond. Elijah MacNamee then gave them life with an RBI double that brought Mangum around to score. Justin Foscue followed with a groundout to short, but Allen came in to score to make it 4-3.
WIth two outs, Dustin Skelton came up and on an 0-1 pitch hit one to third base. But Edouard Julien’s throwing error allowed for MacNamee to come in to score to tie up the game. Rowdey Jordan was then intentionally walked, and Josh Hatcher followed with a single to load the bases. Marshall Gilbert followed things up with the game-winning hit, a walk-off single up the middle to cap off the magnificent rally and put Mississippi State in the winner’s bracket.
Mississippi State will play Vanderbilt on Tuesday night, while Auburn will be tasked with staying alive as they play an elimination game against Louisville on Tuesday afternoon.