From combined reports
Mississippi State’s memorable season continued with another dramatic come-from-behind victory in the College World Series Monday.
Trey Porter’s two-run single in the top half of the eighth inning lifted MSU to its second straight win at TD Ameritrade Park with a thrilling 5-4 victory over Indiana before a crowd of 25,260.
The Bulldogs have won two games in the College World Series for the first time since 1985. MSU will now enjoy three days off before facing either Indiana or Oregon State for the Bracket 1 championship at 2 p.m. Friday. This contest will be televised nationally by ESPN.
With a victory Friday, MSU will advance to the best-of-three national championship series for the first time in school history. Either Oregon State or Indiana would have to knock off MSU both Friday and Saturday to prevent the Bulldogs from reaching that series.
Playing in the College World Series for the first time since 2007, MSU knocked off No. 3 national seed Oregon State 5-4 Saturday in an opening-round game played before a crowd of 24,473. The Bulldogs snapped a four-game CWS losing streak and won here for the first time since 1998.
“One of those games where we had to keep competing,” MSU head coach John Cohen said of Monday night’s win over Indiana. “We had to overcome some mistakes. We had two base running mistakes in the first inning and were able to overcome that.
“I am really proud of the kids for competing and battling and having fun. We never believe that we are not going to win a game.”
The Bulldogs have won 10 postseason games in a season for the first time in school history. MSU will carry a five-game win streak into Friday’s play. The Bulldogs have won 50 games for the fourth time ever.
In relief, Chad Girodo (9-1) dominated. Girodo allowed seven hits and two runs (both earned), with 10 strikeouts and one walk in 6.1 innings of work. With an Indiana runner at third base, Jonathan Holder threw two pitches, got a groundball out to end the contest and nailed down the Bulldogs’ second-ever two-win College World Series appearance.
The MSU bullpen is now 33-5 with 23 saves this season. The Bulldogs struck out a school World Series record 14 batters Monday night.
“The story of the season is our bullpen,” MSU first baseman Wes Rea said. “They have come in and dealt all year. We just know we have to score a run or two and grab a lead and its ballgame. That is an incredible feeling. That is why we have so much confidence.”
Saturday’s contest was nip-and-tuck throughout. The Bulldogs rallied from two different deficits for only the second time this season. Oregon State’s Danny Hayes flied out to the right field warning track to end the contest, barely missing a potential game-winning three-run home run.
“The breaking ball was a little high,” Holder said. “I had nervousness when the ball left the bat. The whole team did.”