May 29, 1999

Mississippi State Moves On to Regional Championship Game

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Mississippi State took an early lead with a run in the top of the second. Cliff Wren doubled to start the inning. A ground out by Travis Chapman moved Wren over to third. One out later Ryan McGraths infield single gave the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead.

The lead was short lived as Nebraska scored two in the home half of the inning. Jeff Hedman reached on an infield single to lead off the inning. Two batters later Jim Bailey nailed his fourth home run of the season, a two-run shot over the left field wall that made it 2-1 Nebraska.

The Bulldogs regained the lead in the top of the third. Shane Kelly led off with a single. Two batters later Daron Wright walked to put runners on first and second. Brian Wiese then tied up the game with an RBI single. Wren followed with a single that scored Wright and gave MSU a 3-2 lead.

A grand slam helped MSU add five runs to its lead in the fourth. Jamie Rock singled to lead off the inning. Jon Knott reached on a fielders choice two batters later. With two outs Chris Lotterhos singled to knock in a run. After Wright was hit by a pitch, Wiese drilled his 18th home run of the season, a grand slam that put the Bulldogs up 8-2.

Nebraska cut its deficit to 8-4 in the bottom of the fourth. Hedman and Justin Cowan drew one-out walks to put runners on first and second. After a strikeout, John Cole singled home a run. Brandt Vlieger followed with an infield single that scored Cowan.

The Bulldogs tacked on two runs to their lead in the fifth. Travis Chapman and Rock drew back-to-back walks to begin the inning. After a wild pitch, Ryan McGrath knocked in both runners with a single to make the score 10-4.

The Cornhuskers chipped away at the MSU lead with two runs in the bottom of the fifth. Adam Shabala tripled with one out. Ken Harvey was then hit by a pitch and Shabala scored on a wild pitch. Two batters later Cowan singled home Harvey.

The MSU lead was cut to 10-7 in the seventh. Jamal Strong led off with a single. With one out Harvey reached on an infield single. Brian Johnson drove in Strong with a single to move Nebraska within three.

Wieses second home run of the game highlighted a three-run inning for MSU in the eighth. His solo shot led off the inning for the Bulldogs. That shot was followed by back-to-back singles by Wren and Chapman. Rock then doubled home both runners to make the score 13-7.

1999 NCAA Baseball Tournament, Columbus Regional