I can’t say that I’ve ever rang that cowbell with pride or worn the maroon and white like they’re the only colors on the planet.
Right now, however, I will have to say that the Bulldogs are the hottest team in the land and a NCAA Division I National Championship in Starkville would be awesome.
MSU (50-18) is getting closer and closer with each game to its ultimate goal as the team is currently 2-0 in the College World Series in Omaha. Both games have left Bulldog fans breathless as MSU has defeated Oregon State and Indiana by 5-4 scores.
Heart and desire have been the main keys to success for the Bulldogs as they are 9-0 in one-run games since May 4 and 15-3 overall. Pitching has been a major strength for MSU as the team ranks 13th nationally in team earned run average with a 2.77 ERA.
The bullpen for MSU, which sports a miniscule 1.71 ERA, has been fantastic as MSU is a perfect 45-0 when leading after eight innings. Bulldog relievers Jonathan Holder (2-0, 1.26 ERA, 20 SV) and Ross Mitchell (13-0, 1.31 ERA, 2 SV) have been two of the best in the country at shutting the door on opponents.
Offensively, shortstop Adam Frazier (.360 avg., 38 RBI, 105 hits) and right fielder Hunter Renfroe (.357 avg., 15 HR, 62 RBIs) have been the main leaders in the line-up for MSU. Frazier currently leads the nation in hits with 105.
Everyone in the state will eagerly await the Bulldogs’ next game on Friday as they play the winner of the game between third ranked Oregon State and Indiana as one more win will put the Bulldogs in a best of three series for the national championship for the first time in school history.
The Bulldogs will also look to be the second state college to win a national championship in baseball. In 2004, Delta State University brought home the only baseball national championship in the state’s history when it won the Division II Title in 2004.
One key link to both schools is Mississippi Sports Hall of Famer Dave “Boo” Ferriss, who played college baseball at Mississippi State University from 1939-42 and was the head coach at Delta State University from 1960-66 and 1970-88.
The award that goes to the state’s top baseball player is named after Ferriss, and Renfroe won that award this year.
Coach Ferriss was extremely proud when the Statesmen won the championship in 2004 and he’ll be just as excited if the Bulldogs win the Division I Title. Coach Ferriss won’t be the only one filled with pride as many MSU fans, as well as people that aren’t MSU fans, will rejoice if the Bulldogs are able to pull it out and bring home the trophy. I hope they’re able to go all the way. They deserve it. As we wait for Friday’s game, which is set to start 3 p.m. eastern, 2 p.m. central time, there is only one thing I can say — Go Dawgs!
Andy Collier is the sports editor at the Bolivar Commercial. He can be reached at (662)-843-4241 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.