15 Jun

omaha stakes

William Carey brought one home in 1969. Delta State did it in 2004, Jones College in 2016. Mississippi State gets to try, try again this month to do what no NCAA Division I school from Mississippi has done before: Win a national title. Carey won the NAIA crown, DSU in NCAA D-II and Jones in NJCAA D-II. The Bulldogs earned their 12th trip to Omaha and the College World Series by spanking Notre Dame 11-7 Monday in Game 3 of the Starkville Super Regional before a crazy crowd at Dudy Noble Field. State can’t take that crowd to Omaha but will take SEC player of the year Tanner Allen, highly rated MLB draft prospect starters Will Bednar and Christian MacLeod and the hottest closer going, Landon Sims. State’s side of the CWS bracket includes No. 2 national seed Texas and No. 3 Tennessee. Vanderbilt, Arizona and Stanford lurk on the other side. Knock-down, drag-out battles should be expected. But the Bulldogs are one of eight with a chance. They’ve come close before, taking second in 2013 and third in 1985 with the Clark-Palmeiro-Brantley-Thigpen team that was probably the most talented the state has seen. Winning the last game of the season is tough. In the 2011 film “Moneyball” that was – and remains — Billy Beane’s great lament: “If you lose the last game of the season, nobody gives a (flip).” That’s not entirely true. State has enjoyed another great ride in 2021. But if the Bulldogs do manage to win the last one, to bring home a “natty,” it’s hard to imagine what the celebration in Bulldog Nation would be like.

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