After a dropping a second consecutive baseball game at Mississippi State in the last week of April, Southern Miss stood on shaky ground, just eight games over .500.
Four weeks later, the Golden Eagles had earned a fifth consecutive postseason invitation.
“A month ago, I don’t think anybody gave us a chance to be in a regional, much less a two seed,” USM coach Corky Palmer said.
While USM’s season ended with two losses in three games at both the Conference USA Tournament and the Oxford Regional, that stretch run of the regular-season left Palmer feeling good about the future of the Golden Eagles’ program.
“We’ve got a lot of good players coming back,” Palmer said. “We lost some good seniors, but we’re a young team, position-wise especially.
“It’s been a learning experience, and we’ll be better from it.”
The next step on Mississippi State’s road to Omaha will be in Starkville.
The Bulldogs learned late Monday night that they’ll host a best-of-three Super Regional against Clemson at Dudy Noble Field this weekend. Games will be played Friday and Saturday with an if-necessary third game set for Sunday.
Times are likely be set today to accommodate television.
The matchup with Clemson was assured after the second-seeded Tigers beat Conway (S.C.) Regional host and No. 1 seed Coastal Carolina 15-3 Monday afternoon.
Since both MSU (36-20) and Clemson (41-21) were No. 2 seeds in their respective regionals, the determination of the host site was up to the NCAA Division I Baseball Committee, which MSU athletic director Larry Templeton chairs.
The committee voted to send the Super Regional to Starkville, MSU spokesman Mike Nemeth said.
The Ole Miss baseball team isn’t crazy.
It knows the success rate of teams playing at home is much greater than those on the road in the NCAA Tournament. The Rebels also know the home field advantage has been a big reason, they advanced to Super Regional play for the third straight season.
But pitcher Will Kline said Ole Miss couldn’t be happier about packing its bags, getting on a plane and flying across the country for this weekend’s best-of-three Super Regional against Arizona State. The series begins Saturday. Gametimes could be announced as early as today.
The NCAA has released the match-ups for the Super Regionals that will be played this upcoming weekend. The Charlottesville Regional has one more game to play between Virginia and Oregon State with the winner hosting the Michigan Wolverines. All game times will be announced at a later date. The CBB will provided extensive coverage of the Super Regionals even better then out coverage of the Regionals because there are less teams. We will have full previews of each Super Regional up by Friday morning. If you have any questions, comments, or have information for the blog including pictures feel free to e-mail me by clicking here.
2007 Super Regional Match-ups
Texas A&M at Rice
Oklahoma State at Louisville
Clemson at Mississippi State
South Carolina at North Carolina
Michigan at Oregon State/Virginia (Game at noon on Tuesday)
UCLA at Cal State Fullerton
Ole Miss at Arizona State
UC-Irvine at Wichita State
Full NCAA Bracket available here.
The University of Tennessee released Rod Delmonico from his contract after another unsuccessful season. Delmonico had just finished his 18th season in which he went 34-25. He led the Vols to three appearances in the CWS and made eight appearances in the NCAA Baseball Tournament. I heard some rumors about this move coming a few weeks ago from some of my unnamed sources but did not post them on the blog as I did not think it was the right time to be bringing up some of the issues with the program.
The baseball program at Tennessee has seen increased competition in the region for the best baseball talent with the move by Tim Corbin to Vanderbilt. Every key recruit in the state of Tennessee is signing with the Commodores and thus making it extremely difficult to get the best talent. I also heard there was some pressure getting put on Delmonico from the administration and alumni with the expansion of Lindsey Nelson Stadium to bring it up to SEC standards.
The College Baseball Blog will be writing an article in the near future about some of the candidates for the job. Expect the familiar names to be brought up.
Wichita State 3 Arizona 0
Wichita State survived two straight elimination games to advance to a Super Regional. On Monday, Wichita State got a solid performance from Travis Banwart who pitched 7.2 innings while striking out 12 batters and keeping the Wildcats off the board. Banwart pitched on Friday evening against UNO but only lasted 1.2 innings in that start so was fresh for the Shockers. Wichita State will face UC-Irvine in a Super Regional while Arizona ends the season with a 42-17 record.
Wichita State Recap
Michigan 4 Vanderbilt 3
Alan Oaks hit a pinch hit homer in the top of the tenth inning off of upcoming number 1 draft pick David Price to break a 3-3 tie and send the Wolverines to a Super Regional. The Wolverines led the Commodores 3-1 going into the bottom of the eighth but gave up two runs in the eighth. Both teams were held scoreless until the tenth inning when Oaks was able to get a hold of a Price fastball and put it over the left center wall. Michael Powers was able to hold Vanderbilt scoreless in the bottom of the tenth to get his fourth save of the season. Vanderbilt ends the season with a 54-13 record and should be back next season in the NCAA Tourney. Michigan will likely head to Oregon State or Virginia for the Super Regional series.
Clemson 15 Coastal Carolina 3
The Clemson Tigers finished off Coastal Carolina by a 15-3 scoreline. The Tigers were led by starting pitcher D.J. Mitchell who pitched five innings while only giving up one run on six hits to put his record at a perfect 5-0. The Tigers offense was led by Marquez Smith and Andy D’Alessio. Smith went 4-6 including a home run with four runs scored and drove in three. D’Alessio also picked up a homer as he went 3-4 with three runs scored and two driven in. Clemson will head to Mississippi State for the Super Regional while Coastal Carolina ends the season with a 50-13 record.
Coastal Carolina Recap
South Carolina 11 Charlotte 6
The Gamecocks finished off a perfect weekend by eliminating the Charlotte 49ers 11-6 in the Columbia (SC) regional. The Gamecocks were led by a strong game from Phil Disher who hit a grand slam in the fourth inning to erase a three run deficit and give the Gamecocks the lead for good as they cruised to victory. South Carolina now heads to UNC for a Super Regional showdown while Charlotte ends the season with a 49-12 record.
South Carolina Recap
The State Column about USC
Louisville 16 Missouri 6
The Louisville Cardinals advanced to their first ever Super Regional after knocking off Missouri 16-6 in the final game of the Columbia (MO) Regional. The Cardinals jumped on the Tigers early by scoring eight runs in the first inning. They were led by a monster day from Chris Dominguez who hit two homers in the game with a first inning grand slam and a three run shot to accumulate seven RBI. The Cardinals now advance to the Super Regional for the first time in their history and will host Oklahoma State next weekend. Missouri ends the season with a 42-17 record.