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Mississippi State, Southern Miss baseball land as two-seeds in NCAA Tournament

MSU, USM baseball
Photos courtesy of Mississippi State and Southern Miss Athletics

Postseason college baseball is here and two programs representing the Magnolia State will be hitting the road in hopes of making it to the College World Series.

Mississippi State (38-21) returns to regional play after a three-year hiatus, and while many thought the team had done enough to host, the NCAA Division I Baseball Committee thought otherwise. The Bulldogs will pack their bags and head out to Charlottesville, Va. as a two-seed with a familiar foe in top-seeded Virginia (41-15) hosting.

Chris Lemonis and Cavalier frontman Brian O’Connor last faced off in Omaha during Mississippi State’s 2021 College World Series championship run. A three-run bomb hit by Tanner Allen in the top of the eighth inning led the way for the Bulldogs to oust Virginia. Joining Mississippi State in Charlottesville are St. John’s (37-16-1) as the three-seed and Pennsylvania (24-23) as the four-seed. The Bulldogs will begin their regional journey versus the Red Storm on Friday at a time to be determined.

After continuing the longest active streak of seasons with more than 40 wins, Southern Miss (41-18) was given both a test and an opportunity. The Golden Eagles, fresh off of earning their second consecutive Sun Belt Conference title, will be heading to Knoxville with top national seed Tennessee (50-11) serving as host.

Just one year ago, Southern Miss welcomed the Volunteers to Pete Taylor Park for a super regional series. Both teams had started regional play as two-seeds and the committee ultimately determined that Hattiesburg was a more suitable location for the games — to the dismay of Tennessee fans. Tony Vitello’s squad defeated the Golden Eagles in a game three rubber match to get to college baseball’s promised land, simultaneously stamping the end of the Scott Berry era at Southern Miss.

First-year Golden Eagle frontman Christian Ostrander will now prepare his group for a matchup against three-seeded Indiana (32-24-1) while Tennessee will take on Northern Kentucky (34-22), a four-seed making its first NCAA Tournament appearance since making the move from Division II to Division I in 2015. Southern Miss will return to action against the Hoosiers on Friday at a time to be determined.

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