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2021 College World Series: Ivan Melendez's late-game heroics give Texas win over Mississippi State

 Barry Allen   in Baseball

(Texas Athletics)

Ivan Melendez added to the drama.

With rain falling from the sky and storms approaching, the Texas designated hitter belted a three-run home run in the top of the ninth inning to give Texas an 8-5 lead at the College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park.

Following the home run, there was a walk, a pitching change and two and one-half hour weather delay. 

Finally around 1:30 a.m., Texas recorded the final out to force Saturday’s winner-take-all game and cap one of the most dramatic days at the CWS.

Earlier, Vanderbilt defeated North Carolina State 3-1 as the Wolfpack played with only a 13-man roster due to Covid issues.

Melendez finished with two hits and four RBIs in the win. 

Mississippi State almost made its second straight late-inning comeback with three runs in the bottom of the eighth to tie the game at 5-5.

Second baseman Scotty Dubrule drew a bases-loaded walk and left-fielder Brad Cumbest delivered a two-run single to tie the game. 

Texas took a 5-2 lead with a run in the fifth and two more in the seventh.

Texas broke the tie on Mike Antico’s RBI single in the fifth inning to give the Longhorns a 3-2 lead.

Antico was in the middle of a rally in the seventh as Texas stretched the lead to 5-2 against the MSU bullpen.

He drove in a run with an RBI single off lefty Cam Tullar. Melendez added an RBI single off Patrick.

Antico finished with two hits and two RBIs.

After Texas took a 1-0 lead on Zubia’s two-our home run in the top of the first inning, MSU scored twice in he bottom of the inning to take a 2-1 lead. 

Third baseman Kamren James and catcher Logan Tanner had RBI singles in he first inning to give the Bulldogs the lead. Tanner was 0-for-7 with five strikeouts in his first two CWS games.

Texas tied the game at 2-2 on Faltine’s sac fly in the second inning.