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Kendall Rogers of D1Baseball predicts Omaha run for Mississippi State

MSU baseball
Photo courtesy of Mississippi State Athletics

Both Mississippi State and Southern Miss landed as two-seeds going into the NCAA Tournament this Friday. 

Kendall Rogers, managing editor of D1Baseball, recently joined SportsTalk Mississippi to break down the draws for both Mississippi programs. Rogers, speaking on the Bulldogs first, has high expectations for Chris Lemonis’ squad as long as they can continue pitching at a high level.  

“I think if you look at what they’ve done, or what they’re capable of, one of the big questions coming into this year was can they pitch enough,” Rogers said. “You look at the front of the rotation, and I feel great about that.” 

Rogers went on to say that Mississippi State’s best hitters need to have big weekends in order to advance past the Charlottesville Regional that also includes Virginia, St. John’s, and Penn. 

“In order for them to win this regional, they’ll need to have guys like Dakota Jordan dial things in a bit. I think he’ll respond. Obviously, he’s an elite hitter,” Rogers said. 

In his closing remarks on the Bulldogs, Rogers didn’t shy away from predicting a great postseason for this Mississippi State team. Although they narrowly missed out on a host site, another trip to Omaha could be in their future. 

“I think Mississippi State is going to be dialed in this postseason. I actually think not hosting is going to put less pressure on the players,” Rogers said. “Not to be a spoiler here, but I have Mississippi State going to the College World Series.” 

As for Southern Miss, Rogers is pleased with what he’s seen from the Golden Eagles as first-year skipper Christian Ostrander’s team went on to win its second straight Sun Belt championship last week. Playing in top-ranked Tennessee’s regional, Rogers believes Southern Miss got a bad draw but they do have familiarity to work with after barely losing to the Volunteers in the Hattiesburg Super Regional in 2023. 

Southern Miss pitcher Billy Oldham (Photo courtesy of USM Athletics)

“The thing about Southern Miss is that there isn’t going to be a team more acquainted with [Tennessee’s] style after playing them last year,” Rogers said. “[Southern Miss] has a really good one-two punch and obviously a great frontline guy in Billy Oldham. This is a team that will not be intimidated or remotely scared.” 

But competing against Tennessee won’t be exactly favorable for the Golden Eagles. Rogers projects the Volunteers to not only win the Knoxville Regional but go on to win the national championship. 

Game one for Mississippi State against three-seed St. John’s is on Friday at 6 p.m. while Southern Miss drew the early slot on Friday at noon against three-seed Indiana as the Road to Omaha officially begins.

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