College World Series 2021 - Mississippi State ends a 126-year title drought

In Game 3 of the College World Series, the Mississippi State Bulldogs defeated the Vanderbilt Commodores to win their first ever national championship. (0:56).OMAHA (Neb. They lost a no-hitter in eighth inning. Nobody seemed to care.Mississippi State Bulldogs were in team sports for 126 year and had never won a national title. They were only five points away from winning the College World Series.Only 1% of Mississippi's population had traveled to Omaha to cheer on the Bulldogs or chase away ghosts. Seven years after the fall when he led an MSU football team that was No. 1, Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys' quarterback, was screaming like a college student. For a few weeks, he was 1. Rafael Palmeiro was a four-time MLB All Star and was part of one the most successful college baseball teams that has never won a national championship. He captured the moment on his smartphone.Palmeiro recently pulled some players aside and said, "If you win you'll become gods."The Bulldogs won Wednesday night with a combined one-hitter by Landon Sims and Will Bednar to defeat Vanderbilt 9-1 for their first national title.Two days earlier, their chances of making history were dimming when Mississippi State lost 8-2 against the defending champions in the first night of the best–of-three championship series. The Bulldogs responded and won their two remaining games with a combined score 22-2.Coach Chris Lemonis stated, "You lose the first series game, and you're sitting here, and you know how badly our community, school, and our program want this trophy."When you are going to do something famous for the first time it was going be hard."The game was to have been a pitchers' match between Vanderbilt flamethrower Kumar Rocker and Bednar, who were both projected top picks in the MLB draft. Rocker was unable to find his groove and was thrown out in the fifth inning with five runs and 92 pitches.Nobody knew what Bednar was capable of, or even if he would pitch. After three days of rest, he got off to a slow start and walked three of his five first batters. The sophomore righty, who had struck out 15 last week in his CWS debut, eventually settled down and retired 15 times in a row.After five innings, he was almost out of the game but insisted that he felt great. Bednar, who was at 90 pitches in the sixth, believed he could continue. The Bulldogs' offense threw the matter out of Bednar's hands when Kellum Clark and Logan Tanner homered, giving Mississippi State a nine run cushion.Sims, who had two saves and a win at the CWS, went into Wednesday night's game with two outs. He then retired the Commodores from order, striking off two. After getting a flyout, Sims worked Carter Young to a count of 3-2 and threw a pitch under his knees. Young chased the ball and hit it into center field.Sims stated, "To be completely honest with you. The last thing that I was concerned about was giving up a strike right there." Sims said, "I just wanted in there to throw strikes. They got hit if they hit.Sims and Bednar are good friends. Sims joked after the game that he would "bust his chops tomorrow" over the no-hitter that never was. (There has never been a CWS combined no-hitter). Bednar cheered Sims on and shouted encouragement from the dugout when the hit fell.Bednar stated, "I couldn't care less right now." "I'm on cloud nine."Play 1:26 Will Bednar - 'It’s the coolest thing ever.' Will Bednar, after pitching six no-hit innings against Vanderbilt in Mississippi State's 9-1 win over them, is beaming with pride.Maroon-clad fans thronged the field. The players ran in a circular motion around the stadium, high-fiving the supporters. The championship was important to many, and the Bulldogs understood that. It was a relief for farmers in Drew, Mississippi who were replanting after a terrible flood.Although he is closer to Oxford, Shurden still loves Mississippi State more than Ole Miss. Shurden made a promise to himself that he would make it Omaha to see MSU play in the CWS championship match, but he lost to UCLA. He said that Mother Nature had other plans. Shurden wanted to see the game from his tractor in the early evening.He said, "We are underdogs in all aspects." Look at our team. You've got to love the fact that they're just a bunch rag tags. They are just having fun."The Bulldogs played for everyone who couldn't make it to Omaha. Lemonis lost his mother last fall. His father is ill and unable to travel. Lemonis took in everything with two outs in ninth. The crowd roared as decades of futility began to melt away.Lemonis stated, "I turned to Kyle Cheesebrough [one of my coaches] who was sitting right next to me." "We lost our parents within the past year. I turned to Lemonis and said, "Man, I hope they get a good seat tonight."They played for all the alumni who had never made it to this point. Lemonis was reminded late Wednesday night of their CWS exit two-years ago when Jake Mangum, a veteran outfielder, broke down in a postgame interview with reporters. He was sad to have lost the title.Mangum, who is now playing in the Mets' baseball farm system, said to Lemonis, "You're going bring the first national title to this baseball program." You are. It's going be amazing. It's going to be amazing.They were playing for a crowd that had waited a long time to celebrate.Tanner Allen, outfielder, said that he is "on top of the world." "I couldn’t be happier for a team and a town, and the entire state of Mississippi. Except Oxford, ofcourse."