Mississippi State Wins First National Title Behind Dominant Will Bednar – .

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Mississippi State Wins First National Title Behind Dominant Will Bednar – .


OMAHA, ONÉ. – In the decisive third game of the 2021 Men’s World College Series Finals, the State of Mississippi defeated Vanderbilt by a score of 9-0 and, in doing so, won the National Division I Championship. the first national championship for the state of Mississippi in any team sport.

As for Vanderbilt, they missed one game in their attempt to repeat as national champions. They won the College World Series in 2019 and in 2020 the tournament was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Game 3 of the best-of-three final came with the promise of a legendary pitching duel, but only one of the starting pitchers lived up to that pre-game ball. On Vandy’s mound was junior right-hander Kumar Rocker, possibly one of the top 10 picks in the upcoming MLB Draft and the 2019 CWS Most Outstanding Player. Opposite him was Bulldogs right-hander Will Bednar, a draft-eligible red shirt freshman who has a chance to go late in the first round. Earlier in this CWS, Bednar struck out 15 Texas Longhorns on strikes.

For Rocker, however, he endured unusual and untimely struggles. The consistent fastball speed has been a problem for Rocker all season, and on the premiere he was generally sitting at 93, which is well below his peak of the bike. He allowed a point on a fly sack, but the first frame could have been worse for Rocker and the Commodores without a generous area from plate umpire Perry Costello. Rocker worked slowly and was warned for violating the pitch clock in the first run. In the second inning, he was penalized with one ball for a second late violation. In this second run, he ended up walking two, giving up a double and allowing two more runs. Things fell apart in the fifth when four of MSU’s top five hitters picked Rocker to take the lead to 5-0. After this fourth single from wrestler Logan Tanner, the Rocker night was over. He ended up allowing five runs – four earned – on six hits in the 4 ⅓ inning. He took out six and walked two. In the seventh, Tanner and MSU DH Kellum Clark hit reliever Chris McElvain to make the score 9-0 in favor of the future champions.

Bednar was doing much better – legendary so. He overcame a few control issues early on and then showed the skill and mastery of three throws that could make him a future member of a big league rotation. In particular, he made his cursor work:

Bednar delivered a pair of free assists in the first, but was able to induce a 6-4-3 double play with one out and keep Vandy off the board. After allowing a first step into the second, Bednar gave up 15 times in a row to end what turned out to be an unforgettable night on the mound. In the end, Bednar whirled six innings without a hitting without allowing a run. Along the way, he struck out four, walked three and had nine eliminations thanks to his ability to get momentum in fields outside and on the fringes of the zone. The greatest pitching performance in the program’s history capped a dominant 2021 CWS for Bednar:

Those numbers include a pair of starts against Texas earlier in the CWS, and, yes, that’s five hits allowed in 18 ⅓ innings. Unsurprisingly, Bednar was named MVP for CWS 2021.

After Bednar’s six hitting innings, relief ace Landon Sims, working on four days off, brought him home to Mississippi State with three scoreless wefts. With a strikeout in the eighth, Sims allowed Vanderbilt’s first and only hit of the game, a clean single down center-left by shortstop Carter Young.

With the result of Game 3, the Mississippi State national champion ends the year at 50-18 under third-year coach Chris Lemonis. Tim Corbin and finalist Vanderbilt fall to 49-18.

Now for a few more things to know about this one …

Rightly there was a bunch of dogs

It’s the Bulldogs, you know, so let’s roll some duct tape:

Heaps of dogs, indeed.

The state of Mississippi also won the party

This year’s three games between Vandy and MSU set a CWS record for total participation in a final series (72,226) and for the last game of a CWS (24,052 for Game 3). The perhaps conservative estimate, according to the press gallery, is that fans in the state of Mississippi accounted for about 90 percent of those numbers. Anecdotal evidence from upcoming Game 2:

Back in Starkville, Dudy Noble Field is home to perhaps the most exuberant and loudest fan bases in all of college baseball. This vibe was transported to Omaha quite transparently during the final.

The SEC still rules the sport

Yes, an SEC team has again claimed both the belt and the title. We knew that before the final as it was an intra-conference affair, but now it’s officially official. As such, let’s take a quick closer look at the SEC’s recent dominance in sports. With the contempt of a privateer for the established order, we will handle bullets under a subtitle. This content is as digestible as a rice sandwich. Forward:

  • An SEC team has now won seven of the last 12 National Baseball Championships.
  • The SEC has placed at least one team in the CWS Finals in 12 of the past 13 seasons.
  • The SEC now runs all conferences with 106 College World Series appearances.
  • The SEC’s 13 College World Series titles are far behind the Pac-12’s 29. However, the SEC has racked up all of its rings since 1990. During the same period, the Pac-12 (and its previous iterations) won six College titles. World events. Simply put, the Pac-12 won the majority of its national baseball championships before 1975. In recent years, the dominance of the SEC has been unmatched.

With the triumph of MSU, six SEC teams have now won a national title. The others are Florida, Georgia, LSU, South Carolina, and Vanderbilt.

Not surprisingly, the College World Series and TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha do not ignore a strong regional presence, and this awareness is reflected in the choice of concessions:


CBS Sports

Yes, it’s from TD Ameritrade Park, and it’s sweet tea for sale in the westernmost parts of Big Ten country.

MSU was well represented in the All-Tournament squad

It stands to reason that the team that wins it all will be a dominant presence in the All-Tournament squad. The 2021 team was no exception. Here is an overview:

C – Logan Tanner, State of Mississippi
1B – Luke Hancock, State of Mississippi
2B – Tim Tawa, Stanford
3B – Zack Gelof, Virginia
SS – Lane Forsythe, State of Mississippi
OF – Tanner Allen, State of Mississippi
DE – Brock Jones, Stanford
OF – Rowdey Jordan, State of Mississippi
DH – Ivan Melendez, Texas
P – Will Bednar, State of Mississippi
P – Jack Leiter, Vanderbilt

This is the majority of the 11 places allocated to the national championships.

Vanderbilt was about to join an elite company

Ultimately, Vandy was one game away from becoming the 10th program to win at least three DI National Championships in baseball. Corbin, in turn, could have become the eighth coach in DI baseball history to win at least three national titles. Beyond it all, Vanderbilt missed a chance to become the seventh program to win back-to-back University Men’s World Series.

It was a long time coming for Mississippi

As noted above, this is the first national team championship in the history of track and field in the state of Mississippi. Plus, it’s the first major sporting title for a Mississippi team since Ole Miss split the 1960 National Football Championship. Since the state native insists Mississippi have the best football and baseball in the country per capita, what happened Wednesday night in Omaha was late.

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