2021 College World Series: Mississippi State earns walk-off win against Texas to set up all-SEC final

 Barry Allen   in Baseball

(MSU Athletics)

It will be an all SEC final at the College World Series. 

 Mississippi State posted its fifth walk-off win of the season with a thrilling 4-3 win over Texas at TD Ameritrade Park.

MSU will now face Vanderbilt in the best-of-three CWS Championship Series beginning Monday at 7 p.m. (ET).

The Bulldogs scratched out the win Saturday night with a couple of unsung heroes providing the drama.

Backup shortstop Tanner Leggett stroked a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth inning to score pinch-runner Brayland Skinner from second base with the winning run.

Texas relief ace Cole Quintanilla hit Kellum Clark with a pitch with one out.

Skinner was inserted as a pinch runner and immediately stole second base. Leggett then lined a slider into left-center field to score Skinner with the winning run.

It was Leggett’s first hit since May 22 and first RBI since May 15. 

MSU’s Landon Sims and Quintanilla were both outstanding out of the bullpen.

Sims (5-0) retired eight of the nine batters he faced for the win. He stranded the go-ahead run at third base in the ninth inning. He finished with four strikeouts.

Quintanilla (5–1) suffered the loss despite 3 1/3 innings in relief. He escaped a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the sixth inning.

Texas got off to a better start on Saturday against Will Bednar, who combined with Sims for 21 times strikeouts in Sunday’s CWS opener. 

Cam Williams belted a two-run homer in the second inning to give the Longhorns a 2-0 lead.

MSU got a run back in the third inning on Tanner Allen’s line drive single to center that scored Clark.

Texas made it 3-1 in the fifth inning on Mike Antico’s RBI double that scored Douglas Hodo III. 

MSU picked up a run in the fifth when Logan Forsythe rapped into a double play to make it 3-2.

Texas turned three double plays in the loss, and has more double plays than errors this season.

MSU tied the game on Logan Tanner’s RBI double down the left field line to score Luke Hancock to tie the game at 3-3. 

State loaded the bases with no outs in the inning, but Quintanilla got a ground out and two strikeouts to keep the score tied. 

Bednar worked into the seventh inning for MSU. He allowed three runs and four hits with seven strikeouts.

Texas starter Tristan Stevens allowed three runs and nine hits in five-plus innings. 

Mississippi State and Vanderbilt will mark the sixth time that two teams from the same conference will meet in the CWS Finals. It’s the fourth All-SEC final, including Alabama-LSU (1997), South Carolina-Florida (2011) and LSU-Florida (2017).

Vanderbilt is the defending CWS champion and is seeking its third CWS title. 

Miss. State is seeking its first national championship. The Bulldogs lost to UCLA in the 2013 CWS Finals.

Vanderbilt won two out of three from Miss. State in the regular season series in Nashville on April 23-26.