Two games, two blowouts.
Vanderbilt ran up seven runs in the first inning of Game 1 of the 2021 College World Series and set Jack Leiter to cruise control to give the Commodores a 1-0 series lead. Mississippi State scored in all but two innings on Tuesday and shut down Vanderbilt’s lineup to even the series at a game a piece.
A high-scoring affair might not be in the cards for Wednesday as two of college baseball’s best arms toe the rubber against one another as Mississippi State will send out Will Bednar to take on Kumar Rocker and the Commodores in the title game of this year’s College World Series.
Rocker last pitched on Friday to help Vanderbilt defeat NC State and even the bracket play before the Wolfpack were removed due to issues with COVID-19 on the team. He had one of the best starts of his season against Mississippi State back on April 23 when he pitched a complete game, allowing only two runs — one earned — to cross home plate on three hits, one hit batter and no walks with eight strikeouts.
Bednar pitched on Saturday in the elimination game against Texas to lead the Bulldogs to the College World Series finals. He, too, picked up a win earlier in the 2021 season against his Wednesday opponents when he pitched five innings, allowing just one run to score over five innings with three hits, three walks and eight strikeouts.
In addition to the two aces, both teams are going to have their best relievers rested and ready to pitch. Nick Maldonado and Luke Murphy are both going to be available for Tim Corbin and the Commodores, while Mississippi State relief ace Landon Sims has not pitched since Saturday’s win against Texas, allowing him to be fresh and ready to pitch against Vanderbilt.
College World Series finals live updates, highlights from Game 3
7:16 p.m. Mississippi State scoring play: The Bulldogs strike first as Hancock lifts a sacrifice fly to right field that scores Jordan and gives Mississippi State the lead. Third straight game they’ve scored first. Mississippi State takes a 1-0 lead.
7:12 p.m.: What should have been a double play on a ground ball back to Rocker results in a throwing error by the Vanderbilt starting pitcher and puts runners on the corners with one out for Luke Hancock.
7:12 p.m.: Rocker drops a curveball inside to Tanner Allen and gets the call for strike three. First out of the inning.
7:09 p.m.: Rowdey Jordan likes the first pitch he sees and lines a fastball into right field for a leadoff single.
7:07 p.m.: Vanderbilt is taking the field to get ready to throw out the first pitch in this one.
6:45 p.m.: No rain delays in Omaha tonight. The weather is partly cloudy and is sitting at 84 degrees out there, according to the Weather Channel.
6:30 p.m.: Here’s how the two teams will be lining up for the final game of the college baseball season.
How to watch 2021 College World Series finals Game 3
ESPN continues its coverage of the College World Series with the third game of the series set to air on ESPN2.
Viewers will also be able to stream the College World Series finals on ESPN+ or fuboTV, which offers a free seven-day trial.
College World Series schedule, scores
Monday, June 28
|Vanderbilt 8, Mississippi State 2|
Tuesday, June 29
|Mississippi State 13, Vanderbilt 2|
Wednesday, June 30
|Vanderbilt vs. Mississippi State||7 p.m. ET (ESPN2)|