Mississippi State baseball defeated Auburn 5-4 on Sunday night at the College World Series in Omaha, NE. Look inside for highlights, post game comments, play by play and more.
Score by Innings R H E ------------------------------------------- Auburn.............. 020 100 010 - 4 6 2 Mississippi State... 000 001 004 - 5 12 3 -------------------------------------------
Play by Play
Auburn starters: 1/lf Ward; 9/2b Bliss; 24/dh Davis; 17/ss Holland;
41/rf Williams; 4/1b Woley; 10/3b Julien; 6/c Scheffler; 16/cf
Howell; 44/p Owen;
Mississippi State starters: 15/cf Mangum; 11/ss Westburg; 5/1b Allen;
40/rf MacNamee; 17/2b Foscue; 8/c Skelton; 4/lf R. Jordan; 2/dh
Halter; 34/3b Gilbert; 44/p Small;
Auburn 1st – No play. Ward struck out swinging (3-2 BSBFBS). Bliss
struck out looking (3-2 BSBBKK). Davis struck out swinging, out at
first c to 1b (1-2 SFBS). 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.
Mississippi State 1st – Mangum grounded out to ss (0-0). Westburg
singled to left center (1-0 B). Westburg stole second. Allen flied
out to cf (3-2 BKBKBF); Westburg advanced to third. MacNamee
grounded out to ss (2-2 FBKB). 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 LOB.
Auburn 2nd – Holland struck out swinging (1-2 BKSFS). Williams struck
out swinging (3-2 BSFBBS). Woley singled to third base (2-2 BSSFB).
Julien homered to right field, 2 RBI (2-2 BFKB); Woley scored.
Scheffler popped up to rf (3-2 KBBBKF). 2 runs, 2 hits, 0 errors, 0
L O B .
Mississippi State 2nd – Foscue grounded out to p (0-1 K). Skelton
singled to shortstop, advanced to second on a throwing error by ss
(0-0). R. Jordan grounded out to 2b (2-1 BFB); Skelton advanced to
third. Halter walked (3-2 BBKBSFFB). Halter failed pickoff attempt.
Gilbert reached on a fielder’s choice to shortstop (1-1 KB); Halter
out at second ss to 2b. 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 error, 2 LOB.
Auburn 3rd – Howell struck out swinging (1-2 KBKS). Ward grounded out
to ss (0-1 K). Bliss grounded out to 2b (1-0 B). 0 runs, 0 hits, 0
errors, 0 LOB.
Mississippi State 3rd – Mangum grounded out to 3b (2-2 KFBFBF).
Westburg flied out to lf (1-0 B). Allen flied out to lf (2-1 KBB).
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.
Auburn 4th – Davis walked (3-2 FBBBFB). Holland grounded into double
play 3b to 2b to 1b (0-1 S); Davis out on the play. Williams walked
(3-2 BKBBKFB). Woley walked (3-2 BSFFBBFFFB); Williams advanced to
second. Julien singled to center field, RBI (1-2 KKB); Woley
advanced to second; Williams scored. Scheffler flied out to rf (1-2
FBF). 1 run, 1 hit, 0 errors, 2 LOB.
Mississippi State 4th – MacNamee struck out looking (3-2 BBKBFK).
Foscue popped up to cf (1-1 KB). Skelton singled up the middle
(0-0). R. Jordan reached on a fielder’s choice to shortstop (0-0);
Skelton out at second ss to 2b. 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 LOB.
Auburn 5th – Howell struck out swinging, out at first c to 1b (0-2
FFS). Ward struck out swinging (1-2 FBFFFS). Bliss reached on a
fielding error by 2b (1-1 KB). Davis flied out to cf (1-1 BK). 0
runs, 0 hits, 1 error, 1 LOB.
Mississippi State 5th – Halter flied out to cf (1-2 BSSF). Gilbert
grounded out to ss (2-0 BB). Mangum singled to right field (1-1
BS). Westburg walked (3-0 BBBB); Mangum advanced to second. Allen
singled to first base (1-0 B); Westburg advanced to second; Mangum
advanced to third. MacNamee fouled out to 1b (2-2 BFKB). 0 runs, 2
hits, 0 errors, 3 LOB.
Auburn 6th – Self to p for Small. Holland flied out to rf (1-1 BF).
Williams struck out looking (1-2 KBFK). Woley grounded out to ss
(1-1 KB). 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.
Mississippi State 6th – Foscue singled to left field (1-1 BF). Foscue
failed pickoff attempt. Skelton walked (3-2 FBBBFB); Foscue
advanced to second. Anderson to p for Owen. R. Jordan reached on a
fielder’s choice to third base (1-1 SB); Skelton advanced to
second; Foscue out at third 3b unassisted. Halter singled through
the right side, RBI (3-2 BBKFB); R. Jordan advanced to second;
Skelton scored. Greenhill to p for Anderson. Gilbert struck out
swinging (1-2 FBFS). Mangum hit by pitch (2-1 BBK); Halter advanced
to second; R. Jordan advanced to third. Westburg lined out to rf
(0-1 F). 1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 3 LOB.
Auburn 7th – Liebelt to p for Self. Julien grounded out to ss (2-2
KFBBF). Scheffler singled through the right side (2-2 BKBF). Howell
hit by pitch (1-0 B); Scheffler advanced to second. Ward grounded
into double play 2b to ss to 1b (0-0); Howell out on the play. 0
runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 LOB.
Mississippi State 7th – Allen walked (3-1 BBBKB). MacNamee singled to
center field (0-1 K); Allen advanced to second. Fitts to p for
Greenhill. Foscue grounded into double play ss to 2b to 1b (0-0);
MacNamee out on the play; Allen advanced to third. Skelton grounded
out to 2b (2-2 BBSFF). 0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 LOB.
Auburn 8th – Bliss reached on a fielding error by ss (2-0 BB). Davis
grounded into double play ss to 2b to 1b (1-1 KB); Bliss out on the
play. Holland hit by pitch (1-2 KKB). Williams singled to right
center, advanced to second on a throwing error by 2b (1-1 BK);
Holland advanced to third, scored on the error, unearned. Woley
struck out looking (1-2 KBFK). 1 run, 1 hit, 2 errors, 1 LOB.
Mississippi State 8th – R. Jordan grounded out to 2b (3-2 FBSBB).
Hatcher pinch hit for Halter. Hatcher grounded out to 2b (1-2 SKB).
Gilbert flied out to rf (2-1 BKB). 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB.
Auburn 9th – Gordon to p for Liebelt. Julien struck out looking (2-2
BKKBK). Scheffler struck out looking (2-2 BFFBK). Howell singled up
the middle (0-0). Ward struck out swinging (1-2 KFBFS). 0 runs, 1
hit, 0 errors, 1 LOB.
Mississippi State 9th – Mangum doubled to right field (0-0). Burns to
p for Fitts. Westburg struck out swinging (1-2 SBFS). Allen walked
(3-1 BBBKB). MacNamee doubled down the lf line, RBI (1-0 B); Allen
advanced to third; Mangum scored. Foscue grounded out to ss, RBI
(0-2 KF); Allen scored. Out at first under review. Call Upheld.
Skelton reached on a throwing error by 3b, advanced to second on
the error (0-1 K); MacNamee advanced to third, scored on the error,
unearned. R. Jordan intentionally walked (1-0 B). Hatcher to dh.
Hatcher singled to third base (0-2 KS); R. Jordan advanced to
second; Skelton advanced to third. Gilbert singled up the middle,
RBI (0-0); Hatcher advanced to second; R. Jordan advanced to third;
Skelton scored, unearned. 4 runs, 4 hits, 1 error, 3 LOB
BUTCH THOMPSON: Tough one tonight. I thought we
played an unbelievable game. A lot of engagement, a
lot of fun. I just thought our guys just really battled
against arguably 2019’s best starting pitcher in college
baseball. Really worked the pitch count. Of course
Edouard Julien had the first big swing and then I guess
a third run on an RBI.
But I think you would have to give a lot of credit to
Rankin Woley. I know he got on before him. The home
run and the RBIs is what you noticed, but Woley got on
both times right in front of him. I thought Coach Smith
did an amazing job with our pitching staff and knowing
where we were at coming out of the super regional and
what our guys’ pitch counts were at, watched them
closely this week, and of course we devised a different
plan today to piece it together, and I thought everybody
really competed within the strike zone for the most
part. And for eight and two-thirds I just thought
everybody associated did a nice job.
Then we had a chance to win the baseball game, I
don’t think there’s any doubt about that, and just one
play away tonight.
Q. I wanted to ask about Rod Bramblett and how
his loss has affected this team and how you guys
are handling that and how are your approaching
that and how you’re handling this World Series
JACK OWEN: Rod was a big part of who we are as a
university and as a baseball team especially. He was
nothing but kind to all of us all the time. He was always
supporting us. Losing him was obviously terrible, but I
know he’s with us and he’s been watching over us, as
we’ve gone along this journey right here in the
postseason, and I know he’s proud of us either way.
RICHARD FITTS: Kind of going off of Jack, everybody
was very devastated about it. We all met with Coach
Thompson and he was just basically making sure that
we were okay with it. In this time everybody has kind
of been uplifting of everybody and the whole Auburn
family has just grown even closer together than they
were before, and that’s just awesome, under tragic
Q. Jack, just kind of talk about your performance.
You kept those guys in check for the most part.
Just as a guy who stepped up tonight and as a
starter, just kind of talk about moving forward now
after a tough loss like that.
JACK OWEN: You can look at it from a couple different
ways. They hit some balls hard right at people.
They’re obviously a very good offensive ballclub. But I
think going into that sixth inning I put us in a bad
position early and forced us to go to our pen early,
when we were a little bit more shallow than some of the
other teams here.
So you could say we could have won that game,
whatever, but I think that sixth inning I kind of let it go
from me a little bit and that affected the rest of the
ballgame in terms of pitching, also. We’re going to
have to come back and do a good job on Tuesday and
keep going. It’s a long way from over.
Q. Butch, obviously you had a chance to close out
that game, but as you looked at the ninth, you’re
facing Mangum and MacNamee, and you’ve got
plenty of experience with those guys, but how
tough is it facing those guys in that situation?
BUTCH THOMPSON: It’s a great lineup. I think I’m
documented as saying that Vanderbilt and Mississippi
State are the two best teams we had seen prior to
getting here, and then of course they’re both in our
Again, I’ll just reiterate we had a couple things that we
really wanted to do to try to keep this game intact, and
I think we did it, and I think we gave ourselves a
chance at the ballgame.
One thing that they did that we didn’t do as good of a
job of, Julien’s home run changed that and Julien’s
third run changed that. Why I’m making such a big
deal out of that is I wanted to put the ball in play at the
same rate that they did, and of course the five guys we
had struck out and it didn’t happen. Woley found a way
on with two outs in the infield, and Julien had the big
swing, so that continued.
Again, at the end of the day when I look at it, I knew
that that would be paramount, but again, I thought we
could have dominated a routine play and finished it off,
but we only struck them out three times at the end of
the night, and I do have a ton of respect for their
offense to hang in there. They were able to just put the
ball in play to extend innings when it mattered most in
Q. Butch, baseball is a game that is always
demanding you to overcome adversity and tough
nights and move on, but how tough will this be,
and what do you need to say to them in the next 24
to 36 hours to get them ready to play again?
BUTCH THOMPSON: Tell them to turn in their loops,
their laundry, tell them when we’re going to have
breakfast, when we’re going to practice, what we’re
going to do tomorrow. We’ve been through a ton, if
you’ve watched our ballclub. These guys, I know them
man by man and kind of what makes them go, and
we’ll be back. This team has really grown a lot.
That Mississippi State ballclub that we just played, they
haven’t changed. They’ve been a very steady, great
ballclub all year, but we’re changed, and we’re better,
and we’ve been through a ton. So I don’t think much
But of course we’re hurt. I’m hurt because we invested
so much and thought we had a good plan. But at the
same time, who knows what’ll happen Tuesday.
We went for it, but I guarantee you it won’t be because
of having to pick them back up and getting them to
compete again. That’s a standard in our deal that I’m
really comfortable with with our ballclub, that they do a
great job with that. I think it’ll be more about the
execution and how much pitching we have. That might
be the bigger story, because we went for it. We came
to win, and we went for it tonight.
Mississippi State Quotes
CHRIS LEMONIS: That’s just how we drew it up in the
scouting report before the game is give them a lead
and then try to catch them. I thought Auburn did a
great job, and they had some big two-out hits. Edouard
Julien, that’s one of the farthest home runs I think in
this ballpark, and nobody has hit that pitch off Ethan all
I give our guys credit, we fought to the last out and just
kept competing and it’s something we’ve talked about
all year. It’s a little bit of a frustrating night because we
had a couple opportunities to drive in some runs and
we didn’t, but at the very end, just the grit of our
ballclub played out and we were able to put some balls
Q. Marshall, can you talk about the last at-bat.
MARSHALL GILBERT: Well, I went up there and first of
all, I was in awe by everybody that was able to get the
job done before me. It was incredible the fact we could
get to that point to where I was coming up to the plate,
and all the at-bats prior to that I had kind of been a little
off, missed some pitches, and I kept getting
encouragement from my teammates saying, Keep
going, keep going, don’t quit.
My last at-bat going up there, I knew he was going to
have a good fastball. I knew they were going to keep
him in the game and save it for me but I struggled with
velo against Greenhill before. So I was looking to get
the job done, get on top and stay short, like something
I’ve been doing all year.
Q. Elijah, just attacking that first pitch, dropping
that ball down the line, you had seen what Jake
had done. Did you feel like you could come after
that guy immediately?
ELIJAH MacNAMEE: I do believe he went 1-0 first. But
I know he was just throwing a lot of heaters, so I stayed
aggressive. I wasn’t doing well at-bats previously, so I
just kept — it’s baseball, so I stayed with it. I know that
he was looking for pitches around the zone, so I
continued to be aggressive and said, put this ball in
play, stay on top, do anything I can to help this team
Q. Elijah, as Jake kind of led off that inning with
that double, did you sense, okay, man, same ol’
story, here we go?
ELIJAH MacNAMEE: I remember actually being in right
field for defense and Cole was pitching, and after he
got the second strikeout I was like, I have the weirdest
feeling about this inning. So when Jake went up there
and hit that double, I said, well, here we go.
Coach Lem said when we got that first dude on, there
was a little relief. Even though we were still down,
there was a little confidence seeing our leadoff man get
on. He’s the best leadoff man in the nation, so when
we go the energy from him and it started to flow
through the team, and it came out at the end.
Q. Cole, your attitude, you come in there, it’s not
even a save situation, but was it just a matter of
hold it down and give your offense a chance until
the last inning?
COLE GORDON: Yeah, no matter the situation if you
give our offense one more chance to swing the bats
and keep it close, that’s what they can do, that’s what
they’re capable of. I watched them do it all year, and
I’m just excited. There’s just a comfort as a pitcher
knowing if you can just hold it where it is, our offense is
going to give us a chance. They’ve given us a chance
every game this year.
Same thing as Mac, too, going into the last inning, I
knew if I kept it there, I had the same feeling as Florida
State last year in just like, man, our offense can do this.
We’re never out of a game despite the situation, the
inning, how many outs. That’s what having a good
offense can do for your ballclub.
Q. Every team wants to be gritty, but when you
actually do it time and again and again, where does
that come from?
MARSHALL GILBERT: I’d say that it comes from day
one that we started. It was kind of I’ll throw it back to
the conditioning test when we all showed up and
everybody had to pass it in order to get to practice and
be able to work with everybody, and I said from day
one, it’s kind of the point where you just can’t count us
out. There’s never a point where somebody is not
locked in or somebody has not bought into what we’ve
got going on. And I think in order for us to have that
kind of grit, it takes everybody, including people that
maybe don’t get to start, but at some point they’re
going to have to come in and make that play, and just
having the trust that somebody is going to go out there
and give everything they have and just bought into
what we are doing.
ELIJAH MacNAMEE: Believing in one another. The
bond we have is something that is hard to break. So
believing in one another, going out there leaving it out
there on your team, it pays off in the end. And we work
pitch to the last. You’re never out of a ballgame and we
all know that, so when we all believe in each other,
good things happen.
COLE GORDON: Yeah, I think it comes down to how
much we love each other. You can see it when we’re
on the field. You can see it when we’re off the field.
We love to be around each other, and if we don’t have
that connection with each other, then we’ll get selfish,
then we don’t have confidence in the next guy coming
up. You watched Rowdey get walked there, and we still
knew they were going to get the job done behind him.
So I think it’s just having that relationship with all these
guys that we’ve built over all this time that we’ve spent
together. It’s truly a family. It’s truly a once-in-a-lifetime
opportunity that you don’t anywhere else. You don’t get
to see these guys every day. So I think that’s what it is,
it comes down to how much we love each other as a
Q. Marshall and Elijah, even though Owen was
doing so well, did you feel that if you just get in
bullpen after the way you played against them in
Starkville, did you feel like you make something
happen eventually, just keep grinding away and
something would crack?
MARSHALL GILBERT: Yeah, you know, that’s kind of
our philosophy is grind out the starter, get to the pen,
so that way they have to change something up and
somebody new has to come in. I think it just has to do
with the fact that we just stay the course and we never
veer off what we’re trying to do. If we are, we all bring
it back together and we go back and kind of reset.
And I think that as far as Jack Owen, he pitched a great
game. He did a hell of a job. Next thing is just the fact
that we’re able to go out there every single day with the
same approach and just trust that the guy after you is
going to be able to get the job done.
ELIJAH MacNAMEE: Hats off to Jack Owen. He went
out there and did what he was supposed to for his
team. We kept grinding and we were trying to get in
that bullpen, like you said. Eventually we got in that
bullpen, there was that disbelief knowing that he’s not
out there anymore, because he had three pitches
working for him. So when he came out of the game, a
little relief came, a little weight off our shoulders for
Q. Chris, you’ve seen many magical moments with
this team throughout the year, but as you’re sitting
back and watching that ninth inning unfold, what’s
going through your mind?
CHRIS LEMONIS: You know, our message in the
dugout was just get it to the next guy, get it to the next
guy. Tanner Allen had a big at-bat with just a walk.
Josh Hatcher gets the chop ball. You just have so
many things of guys just competing. And Jake
Gautreau has done such an unbelievable job with our
offense this year, of instilling just the grinder mentality
and wearing people out and putting balls in play.
And we were a little frustrate today night. It really
wasn’t typical of us for the first so many innings and
you can tip your hat to their pitching for that. But in that
ninth inning, that was us. That’s what we do.
Q. I believe Burns, that was his first relief
appearance, and there had been some talk that
Auburn wouldn’t even try to use him today. When
he went in, did you think this was a chance to get
to this guy after what y’all had seen of him in
CHRIS LEMONIS: Well, we kind of knew he’d be
available today, just the way they’ve been using him
and listening to everything. We even watched video of
him knowing they might use him. Tanner Burns is one
of the best arms in the country. I mean, he’s a great
pitcher. But — and I was just talking to Cole Gordon,
pitching the ninth is just different than any other thing.
Cole Gordon, when I pitch him in the seventh, he’s not
real good. I pitch him in the ninth, he’s real good.
It’s sometimes a mindset with pitchers and where
they’re at, and we were fortunate in our game in
Starkville we got to Tanner in that first inning he
pitched. Then he settled down and really pitched good
against us, but we were able to get to him that first time
Q. Chris, you said that nobody has hit that pitch
Ethan Small — I’m assuming that was a high
CHRIS LEMONIS: It was a high fastball, an elevated
fastball, and man, he just turned and lifted it. With two
strikes you’d think you’d be protecting against some
off-speed, but he turned on that ball and he hit it a ton.
Edouard, he’s one of the best hitters in the country.
We said it after our weekend in Starkville. And the
changeup he hit to center field to drive in the run after
that was another great at-bat.
Q. You’re ecstatic with winning and everything, but
do you ever in a game like this feel for that third
CHRIS LEMONIS: We do. You do. That’s the first
thing we said when we came off the field. Not just the
third baseman, the other dugout. There’s just such
highs and lows of this game and plays happen. But
their coaching staff is as good a coaching staff as you’ll
find. You feel for other coaches as they go through it,
as excited as we are. But we’ve been on the other
side, too, and I think everybody at some point in our
game has to fight through that piece. It happens to all
Q. I know it’s really quick after the game, but now
that you know the matchup for Tuesday, do you
know who you plan to throw?
CHRIS LEMONIS: We’ll probably know tomorrow. I’ve
got to talk to my pitching coach and see, but we’ll try to
look at it. I think we have a little bit of an idea, but we’ll
know for sure probably by the time we get to practice
tomorrow. I’m sure that will be the first question.