Miss. State and Ole Miss headed to the NCAA Baseball Tournament

By NEMS Daily Journal

Both Mississippi State and Ole Miss will be playing in the NCAA Baseball Tournament here are reports from Brad Locke and Parrish Alford:

Bulldogs will open NCAA Regional with Central Arkansas rematch

No. 16 Mississippi State (43-17) will open the 2013 Starkville Regional with a rematch against Central Arkansas (39-20), which is one of the three teams selected to open NCAA play this weekend at Dudy Noble Field. UCA will be the No. 4 seed, and the Bears took two of three from the Bulldogs in Starkville the weekend of March 8-10. Those were MSU’s only two non-conference losses this season.

The other two teams coming to Starkville are No. 2 seed South Alabama (42-18) and No. 3 seed Mercer (43-16). Those teams will meet at 2 p.m. Friday, while MSU and UCA meet at 7 p.m. The Starkville Regional winner will play the winner of the Charlottesville Regional, being hosted by Virginia. The other three teams in that regional are UNC-Wilmington, Elon and Army. Virginia is the tournament’s No. 6 national seed.

The last time MSU hosted a regional, in 2003, North Carolina won it to advance to the super regional round. State has won 5 of the 11 regionals it’s hosted, most recently in 2000, when it beat South Alabama once and Notre Dame twice to advance.

Here are the eight national seeds, who have priority when it comes to hosting in the super regional round:

No. 1 North Carolina, No. 2 Vanderbilt, No. 3 Oregon State, No. 4 LSU, No. 5 Cal State Fullerton, No. 6 Virginia, No. 7 Florida State, No. 8 Oregon.

Click here for more at Brad Locke’s Inside Mississippi State Sports Blog.

Ole Miss going to North Carolina State regional

Ole Miss is back on the road for an NCAA regional. The Rebels have never advanced from a regional at someone else’s place.

They came very close to doing that last year at Texas A&M after winning the first two games, including knocking off the top-seeded Aggies before a raucous crowd of fans, arms inter-locked and swaying at the new Blue Bell Park.

They were unable to close with one more win, and move on to a super regional at UCLA.

The experience of winning two games at Texas A&M is not as important as simply the experience of playing in a regional, says Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco.

Ole Miss is playing in a regional for the 11th time in 13 seasons under Bianco. He says, though, that just one season to miss the tournament — 2011 — left his squad with far less postseason experience than he realized until he started looking around at College Station last year.

Ole Miss, a 2 seed, will play 3 seed William & Mary at 1 p.m. central time on Friday.

Bianco hasn’t said who he will pitch in Game 1. NC State will hold its ace until the second round.

Click here for more at Parrish Alford’s Inside Ole Miss Sports blog.

Read more in Tuesday’s NEMS Daily Journal newspaper.