Dakota Jordan snaps slump in emphatic fashion to lift Mississippi State baseball over St. John's

Dakota Jordan broke out of his slump to put Mississippi State in the winner's bracket in Charlottesville.
Mississippi State outfielder Dakota Jordan (42) hits a two run home run against Ole Miss in the 6th inning at Swayze Field in Oxford, Miss., on Friday, Apr. 12, 2024.
Mississippi State outfielder Dakota Jordan (42) hits a two run home run against Ole Miss in the 6th inning at Swayze Field in Oxford, Miss., on Friday, Apr. 12, 2024. / Bruce Newman/Special to the Clarion

Mississippi State baseball defeated St. John's 5-2 in extra innings Friday night in their first game in the Charlottesville regional to move into the winner's bracket

The Bulldogs found themselves in a true pitcher's duel with the Johnnies, as both sides starters had fantastic outings. The game went to extras tied at two apiece. State kept the St. John's lineup at bay for one final inning, and then, the spectacle that is postseason baseball shined through.

Dakota Jordan snaps slump in emphatic fashion

Dakota Jordan has gone through a brutal stretch at the plate. The biggest bat in the Mississippi State lineup, Jordan had managed just one hit in his last 26 at-bats when he stepped to the plate in the bottom of the 10th in a 2-2 game with two baserunners on and two out. Jordan, who had 17 home runs to that point, was so cold that St. John's had chosen to intentionally walk David Mershon ahead of him so they could face Jordan.

The main criticism Jordan has faced this season has been that he's lacked "clutch hits", even before his recent slump. The perception has been that when State has needed him to deliver, he hasn't been able to.

On Friday night, he silenced the doubters.

Down to his final strike, Dakota Jordan went opposite field for his 18th home run of the year to walk it off and show exactly why he's a projected 1st Round pick.

How could you not be romantic about baseball?

Khal Stephen delivers dominant outing

If not for Khal Stephen's dominance on the mound, Dakota Jordan never gets that 10th inning opportunity. The Bulldog ace put together an outstanding outing, allowing just two runs through eight innings of work, striking out 10 and issuing no walks.

State's pitching transformation has been nothing short of miraculous this season. They wouldn't be back in the postseason without it. And Stephen has the biggest single part of that turnaround (of course acknowledging the outstanding job done by pitching coach Justin Parker).

Logan Kohler deserves praise as well

Dakota Jordan and Khal Stephen stole the show for Mississippi State, but Logan Kohler must be recognized for his game Friday night. Through nine innings, the third-baseman was the only Bulldog producing in the lineup.

Kohler opened scoring in the game with a 2-run shot in the 2nd inning to put State up 2-0. He would then hit doubles in his next two at bats. While he wasn't responsible for the winning runs, Kohler's big night was necessary to getting the win.

Virginia on deck for Mississippi State

After the win, the Diamond Dawgs will now face regional host and #12 national seed Virginia. The Cavaliers won their opener against Penn 4-2. Their red-hot lineup was limited against the Quakers. We'll see if State can quiet them more on Saturday. MSU and UVA will play at 5:00 pm CT on ESPN+.