Tonight, Mississippi State will continue their quest for a trip to Omaha and a berth in the College World Series.
The Bulldogs begin a best-of-3 series with Vanderbilt in Nashville tonight after advancing through the Tallahassee Regional this past weekend. After dropping their first game of the regional, the Bulldogs got hot and didn’t look back; finishing the regional off with an 8-1 win over Oklahoma.
Vanderbilt put on a show of their own in the Clemson Regional, and tied an NCAA record with 9 home runs while scoring 19 runs in the final.
These two teams have met once before, and the Bulldogs were swept at the hands of the Commodores to open SEC play in March, but this is a much different and more confident Bulldog squad this time around.
“Mississippi State’s the same in name only,” Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin told vucommodores.com. “They’ve changed, just like we have. Their personality is completely different than when we played them in Starkville.”
The Commodores had a strong finish to the regular season as well, winning 9 of their last 11 games.
Ethan Small will get the start for State. The left-hander only gave up 1 one in the March series, but he got no offensive support as the Bulldogs fell 10-1 that Saturday. Opposing Small for Vandy will be RHP Drake Fellows. Fellows struck out 7 Bulldogs but did allow 5 walks in just 6.0 innings of work in his March outing. If MSU hitters can stay patient and make Fellows work, they may be able to chase him early on.
In their last 10 games, MSU is batting .331 as a team, and six different players are above .300 with Dustin Skelton leading the way at .500. If they can keep up this type of consistency, it’ll be difficult for Vanderbilt to shut them down.
The winner of the series moves on to Omaha, so both teams will undoubtedly be motivated heading into tonight’s game which begins at 7:00 p.m.
Friday: 7:00 p.m.
Saturday: 8:30 p.m.
Sunday: 5:00 p.m.
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