MSU-Oregon State Pregame: Bulldogs Open College World Series Play

The MSU sledgehammer is here. (Photo by Brad Locke)

The MSU sledgehammer is here. (Photo by Brad Locke)

OMAHA, Neb. | Previewing today’s College World Series game between No. 14 Mississippi State and No. 4 Oregon State.

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• First pitch: 2 p.m.

• TV: ESPN2 (Karl RavechKyle Peterson and Kaylee Hartung), ESPN3.com

• Records: MSU 48-18, Oregon State 50-11

• Pitching matchup: MSU RHP Kendall Graveman (7-5, 3.14) vs. Oregon State RHP Andrew Moore (14-1, 1.36)

• MSU lineup: SS Adam Frazier, DH Alex Detz, RF Hunter Renfroe, 2B Brett Pirtle, 1B Wes Rea, CF C.T. Bradford, 3B Sam Frost, LF Demarcus Henderson, C Nick Ammirati

• Oregon State lineup: SS Tyler Smith, 2B Andy Peterson, LF Michael Conforto, RF Dylan Davis, 1B Dylan Davis, 1B Danny Hayes, DH Ryan Barnes, 3B Kavin Keyes, C Jake Rodriguez, CF Max Gordon

• What to watch for: MSU took down a higher-ranked opponent last weekend in the Charlottesville Super Regional, and it’ll try to pull the upset again today with a senior on the mound. If Graveman can hold it down until the bullpen goes to work, the Bulldogs ought to be in this thing in the late innings. Moore is tough to crack, not at all looking like a freshman this year. And he’s gotten better down the stretch, logging eight or more innings in five of his last six starts, with an ERA of 1.10 over that span. Moore faces an MSU offense that has been hot and clutch, hitting .307 during NCAA tournament play, including .390 at Virginia. A big question for the Bulldogs is whether they’ll continue to show the poise they’ve shown all season, this being the first CWS trip for the program in six years (ninth overall). This is a different stage, of course, so OSU – Moore especially – has the same challenge. This is the first game of the 2013 CWS, and the winner faces the Louisville-Indiana winner on Monday.

• Pregame playlist: A few songs from my iPod to set the tone…

–”Joe DiMaggio Done It Again,” Houndmouth

–”The Greatest,” Kenny Rogers

–”Summer Wind,” Frank Sinatra

–”Dig Down Deep,” Vandaveer

–”Mississippi Isabel,” King Charles

I am the online content coordinator for DJournal.com. Previously at the Journal, I covered Mississippi State athletics (2008-13), high schools (2004-08), and was on the copy desk (2002-04). I'm working on a recipe for bacon-flavored coffee, which would solve all the world's problems.

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