Jun 15, 2013; Omaha, NE, USA; Oregon State Beavers catcher Jake Rodriguez (13) misses the ball as Mississippi State Bulldogs runner Hunter Renfroe (34) scores in the eighth inning during the College World Series game at TD Ameritrade Park. Mississippi State won 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports
The Polk II era was a decent one, but certainly didn’t live up to what many State fans had hoped for when he came back. While the program did reach five straight Regionals from 2003-2007, including the CWS in 2007, they were never really in contention for a SEC title. Polk took a much more relaxed approach to coaching the second time around, and didn’t focus that much on recruiting. As other programs around the league grew, players didn’t flock to Starkville anymore. The result was the 2008 season: 23-33 (9-21). To make matters worse, Coach Polk burned the bridge with MSU when he wasn’t able to pick his replacement.
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Some might suggest this team should be #1 because they made it further than any other Bulldog team, but I’m not ready to go forward with that notion. This team was really special, there’s no doubt, but they weren’t the best. In fact, if we were ranking which teams would beat each other on the field they might not make the top ten, but what this team had you can’t measure – heart, desire and chemistry. It was a blast to watch this team up close and personal – no other MSU team has been so watched and studied as this one due to the evolution of college baseball coverage. In fact, you might say that due to the size and scope of MSU’s fan interest in this team, and the degree to which it was covered, this was the most watched college baseball team of all-time.
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