Bednar fans 15 in College World Series action

June 21st, 2021
Rogelio V. Solis/AP

The first weekend of the College World Series wrapped up with a record-setting pitching performance for the ages Sunday night.  

Mississippi State’s Will Bednar, MLB Pipeline’s 36th-ranked Draft prospect, struck out 15 Texas Longhorns in six innings as the No. 7 Bulldogs prevailed, 2-1.

Bednar used his mid-90s fastball and biting slider to set an MSU record for most strikeouts in a College World Series game. He struck out seven of the first eight batters he faced and allowed only a single and one walk through six-plus innings of work. 

Bednar’s dominance overshadowed a stellar showing from No. 2 Texas’ Ty Madden, the No. 9-ranked Draft prospect. The Longhorns’ ace struck out 10 batters through seven innings and allowed just two runs. The game’s 32 total strikeouts set a new College World Series record. Mississippi State’s 21 K’s are the new mark for the most by one team.

The Bulldogs’ offense was finally able to break through in the fourth inning with a sacrifice fly off the bat of second baseman Scotty Dubrule and a two-out RBI triple from left fielder Brad Cumbest.

Those two runs were enough with Bednar and reliever Landon Sims dealing on this night. Although Sims allowed a solo homer to center fielder Mike Antico to open the bottom of the ninth, the Bulldogs’ closer induced a groundout to strand the tying and go-ahead runs. He ended up striking out six over the final three innings.

Other top performers and scores from this weekend's College World Series:

No. 4 Vanderbilt 7, No. 5 Arizona 6
All eyes were on Vanderbilt starting pitcher Kumar Rocker on Saturday night, but it was senior third baseman Jayson Gonzalez who would play the role of hero in a back-and-forth, 12-inning affair that took nearly five hours to finish.

The Wildcats attacked Rocker, the No. 6-ranked prospect, for three runs in the first inning. Arizona’s Branden Boissiere (No. 157) provided the big blow in that frame with a two-run double. The Commodores fought back with Gonzalez’s game-tying homer in the fourth inning before Arizona’s Ryan Holgate (No. 101) blasted a two-run shot in the sixth that put the Wildcats up 5-3 and ended Rocker’s night.

The Commodores struck for three runs in the seventh inning, highlighted by a go-ahead home run from Carter Young, his team-leading 16th home run this season. A sacrifice fly from Arizona tied the game at 6-6 in the ninth, and that’s how the score would remain until Gonzalez’s walk-off RBI single in the 12th.

North Carolina State 10, No. 9 Stanford 4
The Wolfpack got out to a 6-0 lead in the first game of the World Series on Saturday and coasted to victory over the Cardinal. Catcher Luca Tresh (No. 84) and center fielder Tyler McDonough (No. 110) each recorded an RBI hit, but it was Jonny Butler who led N.C. State’s offense. The left fielder hit a two-run home run in the first inning and compiled three hits and five RBIs.

Stanford starting pitcher Brendan Beck (No. 164) struck out 10 in 5 2/3 innings, but gave up six runs (three earned).

Virginia 6, No. 3 Tennessee 0
Cavaliers starting pitcher Andrew Abbott (No. 62) silenced the Volunteers’ bats Sunday. He recorded 10 strikeouts over six scoreless innings and was supported by third baseman Zack Gelof (No. 96) and catcher Logan Michaels. Each man notched three hits, and Michaels’ home run in the third inning was his first in 50 games this season.