Vanderbilt pitcher Nick Maldonado throws during the eighth inning against Mississippi State in Game 1 of the NCAA College World Series baseball finals, Monday, June 28, 2021, in Omaha, Neb. (AP Photo/Rebecca S. Gratz)

College World Series Game 1 Recap: Mississippi State Bulldogs vs. Vanderbilt Commodores

Under the lights of Omaha, Neb., the Mississippi State Bulldogs saw one of their toughest challenges when matched up against the defending College World Series Champions, the Vanderbilt Commodores. Scoring was at a premium for Vanderbilt. But the latter could be said for Mississippi State. Vanderbilt outplayed Mississippi State on the mound behind the arms of Jack Leiter and at the plate with quick scoring.

Game of Runs

With Mississippi State up to bat first, the Bulldogs quickly got on the scoreboard with sophomore, infield man Kamren James’ homerun shot. However, Vanderbilt immediately retaliated with three hits and seven runs batted in during their first attempts at the plate. The juggernaut inning seemingly cleared the way for the Commodores to take over.

The Bulldogs scored their second and final run in the 4th inning with catcher Logan Tanner’s RBI single to left field driving in Tanner Allen from 2nd base. The Bulldogs could not keep up with the batting of Vanderbilt after a raucous first inning baseball.

Hot and Cold Pitching

As the 1st inning came to an end, the Commodores were already leading 7-1 and slowing down was not an option. Behind six fierce innings with sophomore standout, Jack Leiter was rolling through the Bulldogs. Fans saw Leiter sitting down eight batters while on the mound. Leiter has been fanning down batters all tournament totaling 23 strikeouts in his time on the mound.

The Commodores’ closing pitcher, Nick Maldonado came in for the successful save pitching three innings and notching four strikeouts.

In the other dugout, the Bulldogs saw themselves switching between eight different pitchers. Three Bulldog pitchers pitched 2 innings, the longest anyone would be up on the mound. The Bulldogs’ pitching unit walked 5 batters as opposed to the Commodores’ 3. Vanderbilt outplayed Mississippi State on the mound and at the plate with quick scoring and scorching hot pitching.

The Mississippi State Bulldogs look to stay alive in a Win-Or-Go-Home game in this best-of-three series. Vanderbilt looks to become the first school to win back-to-back College World Series Championships since the 2010-2011 South Carolina Gamecocks. Game 2 of the College World Series featuring Mississippi State vs. Vanderbilt is set for tonight at 6:45.

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