STARKVILLE – It was tight for most of the game, but Mississippi State’s No.3 baseball program won its fifth consecutive trip to the super regional round of the NCAA Baseball Championships on Monday, June 7 at Dudy Noble Field. with a 6-5 victory over Campbell.
Mississippi State (43-15) advances to its fifth consecutive NCAA Super Regional, which is tied for the fifth longest streak of the Super Regional era (since 1999) and is the longest active streak in the college baseball. Overall, Mississippi State will make its 10th appearance in a Super Regional, which is tied for eighth nationally.
The NCAA Regional Tournament All-Star squad included five Diamond Dawgs, including MVP Kamren James. Pitchers Will Bednar and Houston Harding, along with outfielder Rowdey Jordan and Tanner Allen completed the Diamond Dawg collection to mark the 13th time in program history MSU has placed five or more student-athletes on the regional team.
Campbell averaged 13 points per game early in the day and scored three runs in the first inning against MSU starting pitcher Jackson Fristoe, before Houston Harding (7-2) entered the game and pitched five. innings to allow the offense to take the advantage for good.
Harding’s 10-strikeout performance was a career effort, as he allowed two runs on three hits with a pair of walks. Preston Johnson struck out two-thirds of an inning of work and Landon Sims (9) pitched the final three innings scoreless to maintain a one-point lead for his ninth save of the season. The Sims fanned four and
Allen, James, Jordan and Logan Tanner all won multi-stroke matches against Campbell, James and Tanner each hitting home runs. For James, he was 2-for-5 with three RBIs, a team-high and his 11th homerun of the season. Tanner slammed his 12th home run of the season at the top of the team on a two-high day. Allen and Jordan each posted their third consecutive multi-shot match and Luke Hancock walked twice in the contest.
For Campbell, Spencer Packard produced three RBIs and had two hits, as his three-run homer gave Campbell a 3-2 in the first inning. Marcus Skundrich also added a pair of RBIs with a sixth inning single. Cade Boxrucker (0-2) suffered loss for the Chamels with five runs – three earned – awarded on six hits in 3 1/3 innings of work.
2021 NCAA Starkville Regional All-Star Team
C – Hunter Vay (VCU)
1B – Sonny DiChiara (Samford)
2B – Collin Wolf (Campbell)
SS – Zach Neto (Campbell)
3B – Kamren James (MSU)
LF – Jack Schroeder (VCU)
CF – Rowdey Jordan (MSU)
RF – Tanner Allen (MSU)
DH – Tyler McManus (Samford)
P – Will Bednar (MSU)
P – Houston Harding (MSU)
MVP – Kamren James (MSU)
Head Coach Chris Lemonis
About Kamren James
CL: I am so proud of Kamren. He’s had a great year. He’s had real ups and downs. To get him to come out and play the way he did, he just handled the game with such professionalism throughout the year. For him to come out and play that way in the end, I know that he and [Jake Gautreau] worked and spent a lot of extra time. You saw him here, not only offensively, but he also made some really good plays all weekend. He’s a guy from the state of Mississippi. I don’t think he would have gone anywhere else. His whole family has been to school here. It means a lot to him. It’s just a special day for him and his family. I’m really happy for him.
By reaching his second Super Regional
CL: I have the impression that we are in a very good position. We played really good baseball in most of those games. We had a tough first run today. If you take that out of there, we pitched and defended at a high level. We had a lot of big swings. I like where we are. We have a tough weekend ahead. There is no easy Super Regional in the country, and we feel like we have one of the hottest teams in the country coming here. We’re going to have to have a great week of training and prepare for another great weekend. I like where we are right now. Our team is well placed.
Summary of scores
A few errors from Campbell gave State the lead early on, as Rowdey Jordan thumped a ground ball for a hit and moved up to second on wild ground. Kamren James doubled up to drive in the first heat. James then stole the third base and scored on a catcher’s pitch error. Mississippi State 2, Campbell 0
Bryce Arnold and Zach Neto each walked past Spencer Packard’s home run with one out and two runs. Campbell 3, State of Mississippi 2
A few hits with two outs put Mississippi State back in the lead as Tanner Allen scored a single, and James called with a two-run home run. Mississippi State 4, Campbell 3
Brad Cumbest started the inning with a hit and moved up to second on a wild pitch. He moved up to third on an error that extended the inning and came to score on a wild pitch. Mississippi State 5, Campbell 3
Logan Tanner hit his 12th homer of the season with one out in the inning. Mississippi State 6, Campbell 3
The Chamels were not going quietly, as the first two hitters of the sixth inning hit a single before Harding registered the first out. Marcus Skundrich greeted MSU reliever Preston Johnson with a two RBI single, before Johnson could take the final out of the frame and retain the MSU lead.
Mississippi State 6, Campbell 5
The No. 7 national seed Mississippi State will host the No. 10 national seed Notre Dame in the NCAA Super Regional round. The dates and times for these matches will be announced on Tuesday, June 8.