Mississippi State’s Brayland Skinner, center, reacts after scoring the walk-off run against Texas in the ninth inning during a baseball game in the College World Series Saturday, June 26, 2021, at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb. (AP Photo/Rebecca S. Gratz)
- The Vanderbilt Commodores are -200 favorites over the Mississippi State Bulldogs in an all-SEC matchup in the final of the College World Series
- Vanderbilt advanced to the final when North Carolina State was forced to forfeit due to a COVID-19 outbreak in the team
- The Commodores are the reigning national champions
Mississippi State made it to the College World Series final via walk-off. Vanderbilt made it to the College World Series final via walkover.
In one semifinal, the Bulldogs beat the Texas Longhorns 4-3 on Tanner Leggett’s walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth. The other semifinal was ruled a no contest due to a large number of North Carolina players entering COVID-19 protocols, forcing the school to withdraw from the tournament.
Vanderbilt are the #4 seed and are also the defending national champions. The Commodores are being listed as the -200 favorite to again win the College World Series over #7 seed Mississippi State.
Mississippi State vs Vanderbilt College World Series Odds
|Team||Moneyline at DraftKings|
Odds as of June 27
The best-of-three series gets underway Monday, 7pm ET at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska. The broadcast is being carried by ESPN2.
Commodores Have A Pedigree
Along with being the defending champions, Vanderbilt also won the College World Series in 2014. The Commodores went 3-1 in their side of the CWS bracket.
Vanderbilt lost its second game 1-0 to North Carolina. The Commodores rebounded to win over Stanford in the double knockout competition, entering the semifinal against the unbeaten Wolfpack.
NCAA Statement from Division I Baseball Committee:
The NCAA Division I Baseball Committee has declared the Vanderbilt-NC State Men’s College World Series game scheduled for Saturday, June 26 at 1 p.m. Central time a no-contest because of COVID-19 protocols. #CWS pic.twitter.com/amxdQwkQ6l
— NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS) June 26, 2021
That’s when COVID-19 hit unseeded NC State. With just 13 players available – nine position players and four picthers – the Wolfpack lost 3-1 to Vanderbilt. That meant a second game would be necessary.
Following another round of testing, four more NC State players tested positive for COVID-19. The NCAA Division I Baseball Committee declared Saturday’s game a forfeit, automatically advancing Vanderbilt to the CWS final.
Mississippi State vs Vanderbilt CWS Game 1 Odds
|Team||Moneyline||Spread at FanDuel||Total|
|Mississippi State||+138||-1.5 (-122)||O 8.5 (-110)|
|Vanderbilt||-172||+1.5 (-102)||U 8.5 (-110)|
Bulldogs Battle On
Mississippi State was down 3-2 to Texas in the bottom of the sixth inning of their semifinal and facing elimination. The Bulldogs tied the score in the sixth, setting the stage for Leggett’s heroics. Oddly enough, he’d entered the game in the seventh inning as a defensive replacement.
Right-handed pitchers Will Bednar (15) and Landon Sims (six) combined to strikeout 21 Longhorns during a 2-1 victory over Texas in their CWS opener. Closer Sims has pitched in all three of the Bulldogs’ CWS victories.
MISSISSIPPI STATE WALKS IT OFF!
The Bulldogs will meet Vanderbilt in the Finals of the College World Series 🏆
(via @SportsCenter) pic.twitter.com/ftfIcCvsDg
— FanDuel Sportsbook (@FDSportsbook) June 27, 2021
Outfielder Tanner Allen went 2-for-4 in the game. He’s batting .380 for the Bulldogs with 11 homers and 65 RBI and an OPS of 1.065.
The Bulldogs are the first team to reach the CWS Finals via a walk-off win since Vanderbilt in 2014.
Although Vanderbilt were national champions in 2019, pitcher Kumar Rocker is the only one of 17 players who played in that tourney and is still with the Commodores. Only Florida (23) has appeared in more CWS without winning than Mississippi State (12).
Vanderbilt stays alive at the College World Series by scoring on a walk-off wild pitch! pic.twitter.com/9Q4z5h4i2d
— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) June 24, 2021
Vanderbilt worked 12 innings to beat Arizona in the opening round of the CWS. The Commodores have earned two walk-off victories during this year’s CWS. They were down 5-4 to Stanford with two out in the ninth and rallied for a 6-5 win.
Commodores centerfielder and leadoff hitter Enrique Bradfield Jr. leads the nation with 46 stolen bases. This will be the 12th CWS final in 13 years with at least one SEC school participating.
Commodores The Pick
In Rocker and Jack Leiter, the son of former MLB pitcher Al Leiter, the Commodores go two deep in aces on the mound. Both of them figure to be top-10 picks in the July 11 MLB Draft.
They’ve each thrown no-hitters for Vandy and arguably are the best two pitchers in college baseball. Leiter is 10-4 with a 2.08 ERA. Rocker is 14-3 with a 2.52 ERA.
Pick: Vanderbilt Commodores (-200)
This article contains links to external sports betting services. SBD may receive advertising revenue from these links, however editorial has hand-picked each individual link based on relevance to the article, without influence on the coverage.
An industry veteran, Bob literally taught the course on the history of sports at Elder College. He has worked as a Sports Columnist for Postmedia, appeared as a guest on several radio stations, was the Vice President of the Society For International Hockey Research in Ontario, and written 25 books.