Clark, Mississippi State rally for 6-5 CWS win over Virginia

Jun 22, 2021, 8:10 AM | Updated: 9:39 pm

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Once Kellum Clark got that first hit, Mississippi State was on its way to another College World Series win.

Clark’s eighth-inning homer ended Griff McGarry’s bid for a no-hitter, and Logan Tanner went deep three batters later to lead the Bulldogs past Virginia 6-5 on Tuesday night.

The sudden turnaround gave the Bulldogs (47-16) control of their bracket and left them one win away from reaching the best-of-three finals next week.

“We talked to the team about how it’s hard to get the last outs in Omaha, and just to keep fighting, keep fighting, get something going, and we were able to do that,” coach Chris Lemonis said.

McGarry, who was trying for the first CWS no-hitter since 1960, walked Scotty Dubrule leading off the eighth before Clark drove a 93-mph fastball into the right-field bullpen.

Clark’s fourth homer of the season ended a 22-inning shutout streak for Virginia (36-26) along with McGarry’s night — and marked the start of the Bulldogs’ offensive push.

“I don’t think it was a gut punch. I mean, that’s just baseball,” McGarry said. “It’s a game that can go back and forth, and Mississippi State got the best of us tonight. I’m hoping we play them again.”

Zach Messinger came on and surrendered a pinch-hit single to Josh Hatcher before Rowdey Jordan doubled to the wall in left-center.

Hatcher, who hadn’t been in a game since May 27, inexplicably stopped at third when he could have scored easily. Jordan was forced to stop halfway to third, put his arms up in frustration, and then was able to make it back to second base.

Hatcher’s baserunning error didn’t matter in the end. Stephen Schoch (4-2) relieved, and Allen sent his second pitch into nearly the same spot in the right-field bullpen for a 5-4 lead.

Dubrule added an RBI single off Nate Savino for an insurance run that stood up after Virginia’s Chris Newell homered in the bottom half.

Lemonis had jokingly asked Allen midway through the Bulldogs’ game against Texas on Sunday if he planned to help out the team.

Allen is the Southeastern Conference player of the year and he came to Omaha batting .392. He went 0 for 4 against Texas, and he flew out and struck out twice in his first three at-bats against McGarry.

“I knew they weren’t going to throw me a fastball,” Allen said, “so I was looking for a slider I could do some damage with. It was a big sigh of relief. I hadn’t had a hit in a couple days. But honestly it really doesn’t faze me. It’s about the next at-bat.”

Cade Smith (3-0) pitched an inning for the win and Landon Sims got four outs for his 12th save.

McGarry, who was relegated to the bullpen amid struggles with his control and returned to the rotation for the NCAA Tournament, took a no-hitter into the seventh inning in his super-regional start against Dallas Baptist.

The senior right-hander again had good command of his fastball, working both sides of the plate and up in the strike zone, and he effectively mixed in his breaking ball and changeup. He walked two, hit a batter and struck out eight in his 98-pitch outing.

“It’s just unfortunate for him that we just couldn’t finish it off because he was spectacular tonight,” Virginia coach Brian O’Connor said. “It’s too bad that it ended the way it did for him.”

Until Newell’s homer, five MSU relievers had held the Cavaliers scoreless after Christian MacLeod allowed four runs in 1 1/3 innings in his shortest outing in 22 career starts.

“I hate it for the kids to be on this stage and not have the opportunity to play their best,” Lemonis said. “Hopefully we’ll get a chance to get him back out there to pitch again.”

UP NEXT

Mississippi State: Plays Friday against Virginia or Texas in the Bracket 2 final.

Virginia: Plays Texas in an elimination game Thursday.

___

More NCAA baseball tournament coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/college-world-series and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Troy Stecher, left, taunts Anaheim Ducks center Trevor Zegras after Zebr...
Associated Press

Zegras scores in OT, Ducks beat Coyotes for 3rd win a row

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Trevor Zegras scored at 3:34 of overtime and the Anaheim Ducks beating the Arizona Coyotes 2-1 on Saturday night for their first three-game winning streak of the season. John Klingberg stole the puck from Matias Maccelli in the offensive zone and found Zegras in the slot for a wrist shot for […]
23 hours ago
Edmonton Oilers' Connor McDavid (97) and Cody Ceci (5) celebrate a goal against the Chicago Blackha...
Associated Press

Oilers head into All-Star break with win over Blackhawks

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Tyson Barrie scored twice, Connor McDavid had his NHL-best 41st goal and the Edmonton Oilers headed into their All-Star break with a 7-3 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night. McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Zach Hyman each had a goal and two assists, and Evander Kane and Ryan McLeod also […]
23 hours ago
Seattle Kraken center Ryan Donato, rear, watches as the puck rests behind Columbus Blue Jackets goa...
Associated Press

Wennberg scores against former team, Kraken top Blue Jackets

SEATTLE (AP) — Alex Wennberg scored midway through the second period against his former team to help the Seattle Kraken beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-1 on Saturday night. Wennberg, who was drafted by the Blue Jackets in the first round in 2013, had his 10th goal of the season in his 600th career game. […]
23 hours ago
Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam drives to the basket past Portland Trail Blazers forward Jera...
Associated Press

Achiuwa leads Raptors to 123-105 win over Trail Blazers

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Precious Achiuwa scored 27 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in place of the injured OG Anunoby to lead the Toronto Raptors to a 123-105 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday night. Pascal Siakam scored 24 points and Gary Trent Jr. added 19 against his former team for the Raptors, […]
23 hours ago
Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (1) watches as the puck gets past him on a goal as M...
Associated Press

Gaudreau secures shootout win as Wild beat Buffalo 3-2

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Mats Zuccarello, Kirill Kaprizov and Freddy Gaudreau scored in the shootout, lifting the Minnesota Wild past the Buffalo Sabres 3-2 on Saturday night. Joel Eriksson Ek and Jared Spurgeon had goals in regulation for Minnesota, which headed into its All-Star break with two wins in a row. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped […]
23 hours ago
Boston Celtics' Jaylen Brown (7) fouls Los Angeles Lakers' Thomas Bryant (31) during the first half...
Associated Press

Brown forces OT, Celtics snap skid by beating LA 125-121

BOSTON (AP) — Lakers guard Patrick Beverly grabbed a courtside camera in an effort to show referee Eric Lewis what everyone who’d watched the replay already knew: LeBron James was fouled on his missed layup at the end of regulation. Instead of getting the call, Beverly drew a technical foul that gave Boston the lead […]
23 hours ago
Clark, Mississippi State rally for 6-5 CWS win over Virginia