In an early candidate for game of the year, Mississippi State fought off elimination, beating host Florida State thanks to a walk-off 3-run homerun from star junior outfielder Elijah MacNamee.
Following a weather delay lasting over two hours, Riley Self shut down Florida State in the top of the ninth, setting the scene for the magical bottom of the ninth. Florida State starter Drew Parrish was sent out for the ninth, a surprising move considering the delay and Parrish’s pitch count (over 100 pitches). This move would prove to be fatal, as Bulldogs senior Jake Mangum coaxed a leadoff walk, followed by two outs. Hunter Stovall, the Mississippi State cleanup hitter, worked a walk on a close 3-2 pitch, setting the stage for MacNamee.
— NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS) June 2, 2018
Down to the last strike of the season, and facing a pitcher who had allowed just five baserunners prior, MacNamee launched a changeup off the video scoreboard in left field, sending the Bulldogs’s bench into hysteria.
With the early season drama casting a dark cloud over the program, a moment like this can eliminate all the negative narratives.
As Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) said in Moneyball, “How can you not be romantic about baseball?”