When we spoke with MSU players on Monday, some of them were sporting SEC Tournament championship gear – a cap, a T-shirt, whatever. The trophy was already on display in the Hall of Champions inside the baseball building.
The No. 14-ranked Bulldogs are obviously savoring what happened in Hoover. But as you can read in today's Journal, they understand that much more is at stake when they travel to Tallahassee, Fla., this week to begin NCAA regional play (CLICK HERE).
MSU has overcome a lot of obstacles to get to this point, like injuries and an offense that at times disappears. This team has gotten good at bouncing back from such adversity. Question now is, can it put the success in Hoover behind it and focus on what's next?
Last season, State went two-and-out in the SEC Tournament, then of course made that run into the super regionals. So this year, the Bulldogs head into NCAA play on a tear and, perhaps, with even more confidence than the 2011 squad.
"It's all about getting hot at the right time, and that's exactly what we're doing," senior outfielder Brent Brownlee said. "As long as we have guys step up and our pitching keeps doing what they're doing, I think we'll be just fine."
We chatted with all sorts of folks yesterday, including pitching coach Butch Thompson. That was about a 35-minute conversation that I actually look forward to transcribing, because it was such a good talk, and we touched on a variety of subjects.
• SEC MEETINGS: The league's big wigs meet in Destin, Fla., starting today for the annual SEC spring meeetings. Many important things will be discussed and voted upon between now and Friday, including the league's artificial noisemaker policy – more specifically, the Cowbell Compromise (CLICK HERE).
MSU athletics director Scott Stricklin will be there, so we'll check in with him throughout the week.