After taking out Stanford in the Starkville Super Regional, Mississippi State found themselves in Omaha for the second consecutive year. Their opening bout in the College World Series was an intra-divisional matchup with Auburn, a team they had already beaten in a weekend series. Many saw Auburn as a team a few years ahead of schedule and not an immediate threat to the Bulldogs, but the Tigers would prove to be a difficult out.
Four Auburn pitchers combined to hold Mississippi State to one run over eight innings and in the process, stranded 11 Bulldogs runners. With some timely hitting, Auburn scraped across four runs on only six hits and held a 4-1 lead heading into the bottom of the 9th inning.
Then the magic happened.
The bottom of the 9th started off with a double from Mr. Reliable, Jake Mangum. Tanner Burns entered the game to pitch for Auburn and immediately earned a strikeout. However, a walk of Tanner Allen set up an RBI double for Elijah MacNamee to put the Bulldogs within two runs and only one out. An RBI ground out for Justin Foscue cut Auburn’s lead to 4-3, but also brought Mississippi State down to their final out.
Dustin Skelton grounded a ball to left side, and victory looked certain for Auburn. But some Starkville magic seeped into TD Ameritrade, and the throw to first base was wild. The game was tied.
Two batters later, and the bases were loaded for Marshall Gilbert, who was 0-4 on the day. Here’s what happened.
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