OMAHA, Neb. (Miss. St. Athletics) – For 125 days, the 2019 Mississippi State baseball program rode a wave that included dominant starting pitching performances, offensive outbursts and sparkling defense, but crazy things happen in Omaha. On Thursday (June 20), State dropped its first game of the season when leading after eight innings, falling 4-3 to Louisville in an elimination game at TD Ameritrade Park to end its stay at the 2019 College World Series.
Mississippi State (52-15) opened the scoring with a pair of runs in the fourth inning and added one more in the seventh to make it a 3-0 lead. Louisville (51-17) got on the board in the bottom of the seventh inning with two runs. The Cardinals then plated two more runs in the ninth inning to take the victory.
With the loss, Mississippi State fell to 47-1 on the season when leading after eight innings.
As a team, the 2019 edition established new school standards for strikeouts by a pitching staff (718) and doubles (166), and finished No. 2 in MSU history with 52 wins. The 20 SEC wins in 2019 are tied for the. second most by a Bulldog team since 1933.
The “New Dude” was opened with 37 regular season home games, an NCAA Regional and Super Regional, and shined on the national stage with 10 crowds of 10,000-plus and a school-record average attendance of 8,899.
Head coach Chris Lemonis became the winningest first-year head coach in SEC history with his 52 victories.
Freshman JT Ginn was sparking in his 17th start of the season, throwing six scoreless innings and allowing just three hits. He walked one and struck out two. The MSU bullpen allowed all four runs on six hits, with three of the runs earned. The duo of seniors Jared Liebelt and Cole Gordon combined to strike out two and walk three in the game.
Senior Jake Mangum became State’s single-season hits king with his 108th hit of the season in the seventh inning, passing Adam Frazier, who had 107 hits during the 2013 season. Mangum capped his career as the SEC’s all-time leader in career hits with 383, a total that is also No. 4 on the NCAA’s all-time list. He also owns the school record for games played (262), doubles (73) and at bats (1,074).
A pair of lengthy reached base streaks will carry over into the 2020 season, as sophomores Tanner Allen and Jordan Westburg each take on-base streaks of 20-plus games into next season. Allen’s 2-for-4 night moves his streak to 21 games, while Westburg had one hit to push his to 20 games. Allen will also carry a 14-game hitting streak over.
Allen joined sophomore Rowdey Jordan and junior Gunner Halter as Bulldogs to collect RBIs in the game. Jordan, Mangum and Justin Foscue each scored runs.