OMAHA, Neb. (WCBI Sports/MSU Athletics) - Mississippi State plays for a berth in next week’s best-of-three championship series Friday afternoon when the Bulldogs (50-18) battle the Oregon State Beavers (52-12) in the NCAA College World Series. First pitch is set for 2:08 p.m. (CDT) at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha with live television coverage on ESPN.
The summer solstice (June 21) matchup marks the latest game date in 123 seasons of Mississippi State baseball.
A win Friday would vault the Diamond Dogs to the CWS finals June 24-25/26. A second bracket championship game, if necessary, would be played Saturday at 2 p.m.
With their dramatic 5-4 win over Indiana Monday, the Bulldogs notched their fourth 50-win season and set a school mark with 10 postseason wins (3-1 in the SEC Tournament and 7-1 in the NCAA Tournament).
Demarcus Henderson delivered a game-tying single in the eighth and Trey Porter laced a two-run base knock two batters later to power State to its seventh win in eight NCAA Tournament games. All-American shortstop Adam Frazier registered his NCAA lead-sharing 105th hit. Chad Girodo (9-1), on in relief of starter Trevor Fitts, fanned 10 batters in 6.1 innings to get the win. Sophomore closer Jonathan Holder registered the final out to notch his 20th save of the season and the 29th of his two-year MSU career.
Oregon State nipped Indiana 1-0 Wednesday night to advance to Friday’s rematch with the Bulldogs. State rallied for a 5-4 win over the Beavers in Saturday’s CWS opener.
The radio broadcasts of MSU’s post-season run in Omaha, Neb., are carried on the statewide Bulldog Sports Network.
Second baseman Burke Masters and pitcher Bobby Reed, both teammates of coach John Cohen on MSU’s 1990 NCAA College World Series team, dropped by the team’s morning practice session at Creighton University. The team’s activities on the day also included a visit to the Omaha Children’s Hospital.
Neither Mississippi State nor Oregon State have tabbed a starting pitcher for Friday’s game.