College baseball enters final weekend of play for state’s big 3

Published 12:00 pm Wednesday, May 18, 2022

One final weekend series of conference play looms for Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Southern Miss on the college baseball diamond.

In Starkville, the defending national champs most likely won’t make the SEC Tournament barring a weekend sweep against the best team in the conference.

Coach Chris Lemonis and the Bulldogs are 25-27 overall and have lost nine games in a row ahead of a matchup Tuesday against the University of North Alabama.

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The final SEC series of the year begins on Thursday for the Bulldogs and has the no. 1 ranked Tennessee Volunteers visiting the new Dude in Starkville.

Tennessee is 45-7 on the season and has held the position of most dominating team in the country for much of the year.

A State team that’s battled injuries and an Omaha hangover dropped all three games to Texas A&M in College Station last weekend to put their chances of catching Kentucky for a SEC tournament spot on life-support.

At one time this season, it looked like Ole Miss might also be watching play from the SEC Tournament in Hoover via televisions in Oxford.

The Rebels have rebounded though and stayed hot over the weekend with a sweep of LSU. The three wins in Baton Rouge was the first three-game road sweep of LSU in Ole Miss program history.

Coach Mike Bianco’s team is now 31-19 and will welcome no. 6 Texas A&M to Oxford for a three-game set that begins on Thursday.

A seven-game win streak is part of how Ole Miss went from SEC Tournament bubble to locking in a spot with the wins in Baton Rouge.

It’s been an up and down season in Oxford, but the sweep over LSU, plus a victory last week at Southern Miss, has the Rebels back in the conversation for an at-large spot in the upcoming NCAA Tournament.

The hope all season in Hattiesburg is that the Eagles would win a Conference USA championship and earn the right to host a regional when the NCAA Tournament begins.

USM is still in the running to win the league title, but recent losses have put the ability to host in some doubt.

Wins in games two and three last weekend gave coach Scott Berry’s team a series win at the University of Texas-San Antonio.

Southern Miss is now 38-14 and will finish league play out with a three-game series at Middle Tennessee that begins on Thursday. The Eagles have a two-game lead on Louisiana Tech in the C-USA standings.

Berry’s team had lost two-out-of-three against UAB and Old Dominion prior to getting the series win at home over UTSA.

Southern Miss also has the luxury of hosting the upcoming Conference USA tournament that begins on May 25 in Hattiesburg at Pete Taylor Park.