Mississippi State Dominates Vanderbilt in Game 2, Stands One Win From a National Title

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Mississippi State wanted a fast start in Game 2 of the College World Series finals, and the Bulldogs got that and much, much more. Houston Harding went four strong innings, Preston Johnson pitched the rest, and the Diamond Dawg hitters dominated Commodore pitching in a 13-2 win that set up a winner take all Game 3 on Wednesday.

State scored 13 runs on 14 hits, with every Bulldog starter reaching base at least once. Lane Forsythe, who came into the game on a 1 of 25 slump, led the way with three hits and two RBI. Tanner Allen scored 4 runs, Scotty Dubrule drove in 4 runs, and Logan Tanner got on base 4 times as the MSU hitters tagged five different Vandy pitchers throughout the game. State scored at least once in five innings, including 4 in the third, and 5 in the seventh to blow the game open.

On the mound, State only had to use two pitchers, with Harding getting the start and giving the Bulldogs four innings, giving up only one run while striking out four. Preston Johnson would throw his longest outing of the season, pitching the final four frames of nearly scoreless relief, the only blemish a solo home run with two outs in the ninth. State was able to avoid using their ace closer Landon Sims, freeing him up for potential long relief in Wednesday’s finale.

MSU and Vanderbilt will meet now for the sixth time this season with a national title hanging in the balance. No official word from either school, but the pitching matchup is expected to be a battle of two potential first rounders, with Will Bednar and Kumar Rocker making their third starts of this College World Series.

Photo courtesy of Mississippi State athletics

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