Head coach Chris Lemonis and his ball club were right in the middle of a heated race for an SEC regular-season title. With Missouri and Alabama left, the schedule set up nicely for Mississippi State to take care of business and come out on top.
However, that would not be the case as the last-place Tigers came into Starkville and upset the then-No. 3 Bulldogs, winning two out of three to take the series. In an unexpected turn of events, Missouri completely outplayed Mississippi State all weekend, as the Bulldogs were lucky to escape Thursday night with a win to avoid a sweep.
Mississippi State Baseball: #10 Ranked Bulldogs still in the hunt for SEC Regular Title
D1Baseball.com dropped State all the way to No. 10 in its latest poll but still has them grabbing the last national seed in its Field of 64 projections. Mississippi State still sits in a good position to finish among the Top 8, but the Bulldogs will need to be better in every facet of the game as the postseason draws near.
State got back into the win column on Tuesday night, defeating Jacksonville State, 6-1, in a rain-shortened five-inning affair. Now, a desperate Alabama team awaits the Bulldogs for a three-game set to finish the regular season.
Alabama currently sits on the wrong side of the bubble, according to D1Baseball.com. They are the first team out of the field at the moment.
That’s what makes this series so pivotal for both teams. A series win for Alabama would more than likely be enough to get them into the tournament. As for State, a road series win over Alabama, whose RPI sits at 27, should keep the Bulldogs in the Top 8.
After last weekend’s rough showing in Starkville, there’s no reason for this Bulldog team not to be locked in and determined to prove that they are still among the country’s top clubs. Expect State to come out and be better in all three phases this weekend and take a huge series from the Crimson Tide.