The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Bulldog’s road to Omaha is bananas

Alayna Stevens | The Reflector

Right handed pitcher Denver McQuary, a sophomore, winds up.

After four games into the season, I left a ballpark in downtown Jackson without knowing the direction of two things. The first being a baseball team, who had just fired their head coach and named Gary Henderson as interim; the second being my way to my grandparents’ house in Jackson.

As the season progressed, it looked like the season might be a lost cause with then opening weekend of SEC play being ruined by the Commodores of Vanderbilt University, who swept Mississippi State University.

After that series loss, the Bulldogs fell further with losses at the University of Missouri and Louisiana State University.

However, MSU picked themselves up, dusted off and leapt over Ole Miss, courtesy of a Luke Alexander’s walk-off home run in the 11th inning to win the series.

MSU baseball continued an upward progression, despite a series loss against Auburn University, and gained a series sweep against a team nationally-ranked third, the University of Arkansas. This was one of MSU’s two high points of the season.

That second high point was a series sweep over Florida in week 10 of SEC play to get MSU to .500 and a chance to play in the NCAA tournament. MSU had made a miracle run to make the postseason.

In the first game of the regionals, they suffered a 20-10 loss to Oklahoma University. Teams who lose in the first round of a NCAA regional have a seven percent chance of winning the regional.

MSU had their work cut out for them as they had to win a game against Florida State University the next day to keep their hopes alive. The team had two outs, two strikes, and two men on base in the bottom of the ninth. Elijah MacNamee stepped up to the plate, and delivered a three run walk-off home run.

The Bulldogs moved on and defeated Samford 9-8 Saturday morning. A rematch with Oklahoma was next, and MSU would have to win two games over OU to advance to a super regional.

Despite these odds, MSU won the first game 13-2 and the second game 8-1 to punch their ticket to a super regional. Two wins away from Omaha, and back-to-back years of overcoming a first game loss in a regional.

MSU survived a year of coaching changes, barely winning half of their conference games, and insurmountable odds to win a regional. Despite the odds, MSU is still alive.

I do not know if it is a rally banana keeping this team alive, or the fact the Bulldogs will not go down without a fight. One thing is for certain: this team is heading in the direction of Omaha, and they are getting better with each game.

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Bulldog’s road to Omaha is bananas