Sweeping an SEC foe is always exciting for a team, but for Mississippi State, it was also cathartic. After beating Auburn on Sunday, 5-0, to complete the sweep, the Bulldog players could be seen laughing and whooping in the dugout. It's not the kind of celebration this group has gotten to enjoy.
This was MSU's first sweep of an SEC foe in four years, thus the first of the John Cohen era. It puts MSU at 18-6 overall, 4-2 in SEC play – second place in the Western Division – and you know what, there just might be a national ranking coming State's way this week.
Cohen, of course, isn't going to pay attention to any of the sudden hype.
"Our kids will live on the Internet, they'll say, 'Hey, we're moving up,' and excited, but we won't even discuss or think about that," Cohen said.
That's obviously the best approach for this team, which you figure has learned not to take anything for granted. There are still eight more SEC series to be played, and I think we know how quickly fortunes can turn in this league (see: Auburn, and even more so LSU).
MSU is playing loose and like a team that couldn't care less what anyone thinks of them, though, and if it can keep it rolling at Georgia this coming weekend, who knows what's possible.
"This team is all about fun, all about having a good time," catcher Wes Thigpen said. "We're a very close, and we never really pressed. We know we're always in it no matter what the score, and we have a great club this year."
The Bulldogs kept pointing to that comeback win over Vanderbilt last weekend. That showed everyone what they were capable of, but more important, it showed the players themselves what they could do.
"That could end up being a huge win for us this year," said Thigpen. "We know we're probably not going to face any better arms than they had, so that gives us more confidence at the plate. And we got really closer after that win, got to travel on the road after that win and come all the way home. It was awesome."