ATLANTA | There is a bit of déjà vu going on for Mississippi State, only none of the current Bulldogs were on board the first time this happened.
In 2007, MSU was a good team that entered the NCAA Regional in Tallahassee, Fla., as a No. 2 seed and swept through in three games, beating host Florida State twice in the process. The Bulldogs then took down Clemson in two games in the Super Regional – in Starkville – and earned a College World Series berth.
This time, MSU (36-23) is a No. 3 seed and is becoming a good team, and it has a chance today to finish off this Atlanta Regional and advance to the Super Regional again. Interesting to me is that the 2007 Bulldogs entered NCAA play with a 33-20 record. This edition entered Atlanta at 34-23. My question: How much better was the ’07 team?
And do those records mean anything? Probably not, beyond the fact that what you heard a lot before this regional has held true: Everybody is 0-0 coming in, and the regular season doesn’t matter.
With an 8-3 win over Austin Peay on Saturday, MSU needs just one win today to advance. Georgia Tech and Austin Peay play at 2 p.m. (CST), and State gets two chances to beat the winner of that game.
Will the Bulldogs be able to keep the focus on today’s matchup, and not let the excitement of what could happen creep into their psyches?
“We have a lot of confidence going into (today’s) game,” senior shortstop Jonathan Ogden said. “We take every game of the year one by one.”
If it wins, MSU would be in its fourth Super Regional since the NCAA went to that format in 1999.
• Game time for MSU is 6 p.m. CST. As has been the case all weekend, the game will be televised by CSS and can also be viewed online at ncaa.com.
• Here’s my notebook from last night’s game.
• The Atlanta Regional is matched up with the Gainesville Regional. MSU has entered a bid to host the Super Regional, but with Florida and Miami playing for the title there, State would be on the road for the next round. Miami just beat Jacksonville and now must beat Florida twice to advance.