Both teams got on the board early with an RBI single by Matthew Brinson. Brinson scored the second run of the frame on a Brad Corley hit that was misplayed by the Tiger left fielder.
The Tigers (36-22) answered with three runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning when Ryan Rallo launched a three run blast over the left field wall off Bulldog starter Jeff Lacher.
The Bulldogs (42-19-1) found themselves down 4-2 entering the fourth inning when they strung together four singles scoring two runs tying the game at four.
The Tigers held a 5-4 lead until the Bulldogs came to bat in the sixth. Jeff Butts led it off with a single and advanced to second on an error. Maniscalco brought in Butts with a single and scored himself on Steve Gendron's single to left field. Brinson scored Jon Mungle on a groundout and Brad Corley singled through the right side to plate Gendron. State scored three more in the next inning to extend the lead to 8-5.
"Missouri is a good ballclub," said MSU head coach Ron Polk. "This was a game that could have gone either way until the sixth inning when we broke it open."
Butts would again lead off the inning with a single. Maniscalco tripled off the wall in right center field scoring Butts. The Diamond Dawgs chased Shipman from the game after just one and two-thirds innings. But his replacement, Parker, would fare no better when Mungle grounded out to score Maniscalco.
State and North Carolina meet in the championship game Sunday at 1:30 p.m.
"We won't feel sorry about the number of pitcher's we're going to throw because they will have to do the same thing," said Polk. "We definitely have a chance."
Gene Swindoll is the owner of Gene's Page, the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports on the internet. The URL for Gene's Page is http://mississippistate.theinsiders.com. You can contact him by emailing email@example.com.