27 May

travel plans

Mississippi State, snubbed as a regional host, will pack its bags and head to California this week, if Baseball America’s NCAA Tournament projections are accurate. BA has State ranked 15th in its latest poll but seeded second in the Santa Barbara Regional, where 18th-ranked UCSB of the Big West is the No. 14 national seed. The actual regional assignments for the 64-team field will be announced later today. Southern Miss, champion of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament and ranked 22nd by BA, is projected to travel to Tallahassee, Fla., where Florida State is the No. 8 national seed. Five SEC teams got regionals, including Georgia, which was knocked out of the SEC Tournament in the first round. No Sun Belt team is hosting; Louisiana-Lafayette is projected to make the field, as a 2-seed like USM. P.S. Defense, or lack thereof, often makes a difference when the heat is on in postseason play, as both USM and Jackson State witnessed on Sunday. USM benefited from a pair of errors by Georgia Southern in the ninth inning of the Golden Eagles’ 14-11 win in Sunday’s SBC tourney title game. USM scored five times in the ninth, three of the runs unearned. (USM, error-free on Sunday, also got plenty of offense from the likes of Dalton McIntyre, Davis Gillespie and Slade Wilks, plus another lockdown relief effort from Colby Allen.) Jackson State took a one-run lead into the bottom of the ninth but committed a pair of costly errors, helping Grambling State win 6-5 and claim the SWAC Tournament title and automatic bid to the NCAAs. JSU made four errors all told, leading to three unearned runs. Grambling did not make an error.

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