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vs OSU CWS June 23

These are not my words to write. It is not my story to tell.
 
This epic eventually became one that those around the country became enthralled with, and that Mississippi State fans committed themselves to wholly. Here, at its finish, it remains that way – an incredible journey and an unbelievable tale of which thousands just witnessed the finale.
 
But that's not where this story I started. I wasn't there when this saga began, when this roller coaster ride first started clicking and clacking down the tracks. Only a few dozen of the tens of thousands of us watching the final moments were there for its genesis.
 
This is not our story to tell. It's theirs.
 
Star player miraculously comes back from injury, team rallies in their presence and pulls off fairy tale victory. I've written that story. We've seen that story. And it's a good one, don't get me wrong.
 
But this isn't that kind of story. There are chapters within this tale along those lines, certainly. But neither its final word nor its last offer that same magical ending. In fact, there is very little positive to be said about the off-putting beginning or the heartbreaking tail end of this story, even if there was a great deal of inspiration in between.
 
This team had a whiff of destiny to it, a feeling that fate was finally on their side after very nearly everything went wrong at the start. It seemed fitting, as well, that this Mississippi State baseball team, of all the great teams this historic program has fielded, would be the one to finally break through and win a National Championship. The underdogs fighting through adversity to become MSU's first National Champions!
 
It would have been a nice story. But that's not the one that belongs to this group.
 

"The ride started in August," junior outfielder Jake Mangum said. "The group of guys that don't even have a baseball field to practice on. You're inside every day, rain or shine, you're inside. All the 6:00 a.m. lifts."

 
And the season began: 0-3, swept by Southern Miss. Then the head coach resigns. Then you hit the road for a three-week road trip with an interim head coach, an interim staff, and no clue at all what you're supposed to do. That's when Gary Henderson, interim head coach, sat the team down and discussed exactly what it was they would do next.
 

"123 days ago we started on a journey with these guys," he said. "It was an unbelievable time in my life for a guy who coached as long as I have, never been close to being something we were a part of.

 

"I asked them to create an identity. I asked them to buy into my vision. I asked the kids the same exact thing. Honesty, integrity, competitiveness. Act like men, not boys. And they did it.

 

"I was so proud of them. Obviously, humiliating time for the program, for the assistant coaches, for me, to be a part of something like that, total nonsense. And the players as well and their families. Nobody bought into that.

 

"But they bought into us and these kids bought into me, [assistant coaches] Mike Brown, A.J. Gaura, Jake Gautreau, and they did everything we asked. And it was awesome, what a great experience. Great experience for the coaches but great experience for the players.

 

"They learned it's a higher education. We're in college, and they learned fthat rom the most humble, most brutal beginnings, you can turn something into an overwhelmingly positive experience. And that's what we've done. We didn't get to the final two. We got to the final four. And I couldn't be more proud to be a part of Mississippi State baseball.

 

"We had support obviously early on from Dr. Keenum, Coach Cohen and the administrative staff, all those people, our managers, they're the best but really what you had was each other by each other. The players had the players and the coaches had the coaches and the coaches and players had each other and that was kind of it, and it was kind of rough those first three weeks on the road as you might imagine. That's just the nature of it.

 

"But driving home from Baton Rouge on March 31st, 2-7 [SEC] and 14-15 [overall] and I remember talking to Jake saying we're getting better but we're not winning. I know we're getting better. I was positive. So was he. We were positive that we're getting better.

 

"But all you had really was faith in your own evaluation of what was going on. And then the next weekend it started to click. L.A. [Luke Alexander] turned things on Sunday with a walk-off. The next thing you know you're beating somebody good, you won a series finally.

 

"Then we got on a roll. And then we just thought we were good. And then we were good."

 
And that's when much of the rest of the baseball world came in. To say that MSU had been overwhelmingly written off would be a tremendous understatement in a season built for over-exaggeration.
 
The Bulldogs took down the Rebels at Dudy Noble thanks to Alexander's walk-off, and from that moment, the spell was cast. The magic was unleashed. State went on to beat three top-three teams before the regular season was even over, sweeping the No. 1 club in the country to put an exclamation point on its postseason credentials. Once selected, MSU took down a National Seed on its homefield, won five-straight elimination games, made walk-offs and come-from-behind wins seem like the norm and raced all the way to the national semifinals in the College World Series in Omaha, all while putting bananas on their heads.
 
It's way too cheesy to consider saying it out loud, but it's far too true not to express in words: this team captured the hearts of its fans. And they didn't do it because they were good, not because they were the best or the highest-ranked or the most talented. They were loved for being the Bad News Bulldogs – for being the underdogs, not the top dogs.
 
Does anybody think Mangum is popular for his batting average or on-base percentage over his personality and exuberance? Who on Earth will say a grand slam defined Jordan Westburg's season and not a slightly under-ripe piece of fruit set on top of his hat and holstered in his belt?
 
This story isn't about baseball. Baseball is simply the vehicle through which it was able to be told.
 
The 2018 Mississippi State baseball team is unlikely to be discussed in any great detail when those in the future talk about the best teams of MSU's past. Best is not a superlative this group ever tried to lay claim to. They just wanted to win. They wanted to compete, to enjoy a game together, to prove doubters wrong, and to prove that all their work was worth it. They wanted to make the statement that playing an entire season in an active construction site was more than just a footnote in the history of MSU baseball and its facilities.
 
This team will be remembered for rally bananas and bleached hair, for rain delays and black uniforms. It will be remembered for reaching the Promised Land when every prognosticator in the game expected it to spend the year wandering through the desert.
 
Who knows what the future holds? Coaches, roster, stadium – they all get the same warning: under construction. Please pardon our progress.
 
But pardon me, pardon this team, if it wasn't willing to be swept away like the dust from saws and drills covering the New Dude every day as construction continues.
 
No one would have faulted this team for giving up when things looked impossible. No one could have blamed them. No one except for themselves, that is. Whatever potential they saw in themselves that so many others did not, they fought for it. They fought with it, and eventually they saw it realized.
 
This was a team that only reached the peak because it went to the depths of the valley first. That this story ended with a loss seems only appropriate for a team that showed victory can be built on despair.
 
The final words have been written, the last out recorded on a season that most thought should never have been. This tale was theirs to write, and now it's one that all will remember.
 

"It's a story that's unbelievable," Mangum said. 

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vs OSU CWS June 23

OMAHA, Neb. – A Mississippi State baseball season full of twists and turns saw its final chapter written Saturday night.
            
A late two-out rally by MSU fell just short in a 5-2 loss to No. 3 national seed Oregon State in the semifinal round of the College World Series played at TD Ameritrade Park. The Maroon and White was held to four total hits in the contest.
            
MSU (39-29) fell to Oregon State (53-11-1) on back-to-back days in the event. The Bulldogs had won five straight postseason elimination games before falling to the Beavers Saturday night.
            
Oregon State will advance to face Arkansas in the College World Series championship series next week, while MSU will enter the offseason after its 10th appearance in the College World Series.
            
The Bulldogs battled hard throughout the season overcoming an early coaching change and an abbreviated home schedule due to construction at Dudy Noble Field to finish 15-15 in Southeastern Conference play.
            
In the postseason, the Bulldogs won the Tallahassee Regional and Nashville Super Regional with walk-off magic needed in both places. Overall, the Bulldogs won 11 times in their final at-bat this season.
            
The walk-off magic continued in Omaha with MSU besting Washington 1-0 on the first day of the tournament. A 12-2 win over North Carolina sent the Bulldogs 2-0 in Omaha for only the third time in program history.
            
The magic ran out from there with Oregon State pitching holding the Bulldogs to nine hits in two games. Oregon State set up the winner-take-all game with a 12-2 victory Friday afternoon.
            
Saturday's contest was decided when the Beavers scored five runs after there were two outs in the third inning. The big blow was a three-run home run by Tyler Malone.
            
The Beavers strung together five straight hits after MSU starter Ethan Small got the first two outs in the inning.
            
Small (5-4) worked 4.2 innings, allowing seven hits and five runs (all earned). Cole Gordon was dominant in relief, throwing the final 4.1 innings, while allowing one hit and no runs with three strikeouts.
            
Oregon State starter Kevin Abel threw seven innings. Abel (6-1) allowed three hits and one run (earned), with five strikeouts and three walks. Jake Mulholland completed the contest.
            
The Bulldogs scored in the third inning when a pair of walks preceded a Rowdey Jordan RBI-single.
            
A line drive double play snuffed the Bulldogs' next best scoring threat in the sixth inning.
            
In the ninth inning, the Beavers issued back-to-back two-out walks to Elijah MacNamee and Justin Foscue. Luke Alexander connected for a two-out RBI-single. Pinch hitter Tanner Poole then reached as a hit batsman. A force play at second on a ground ball then ended the contest.
            
Jordan finished with two of the Bulldogs' four hits.
 
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BB vs. Oregon State CWS

OMAHA, Neb. – The Mississippi State baseball team may be down but is certainly not out.
 
MSU suffered its first loss in the 2018 College World Series, falling 12-2 to No. 3 national seed Oregon State Friday afternoon at TD Ameritrade Park.
 
It was the Bulldogs' first loss in Omaha after the program's third 2-0 start in the event.
 
MSU (39-28) will face Oregon State (52-11-1) again Saturday with the winner advancing to the CWS Championship Series, which starts Monday. Game time will be 7 p.m. ESPN will have the broadcast.
 
The Bulldogs have won five straight elimination games in the postseason this season and are looking for a return trip to the finals since the 2013 tournament.
 
MSU actually built the early 1-0 lead Friday but was undone by a five-run second inning from Oregon State. The Beavers became the second CWS team to score 10 or more runs in three straight tournament games.
 
OSU's pitching duo of Bryce Fehmel and Brandon Eisert (5-3) combined to hold MSU to five hits—the lowest total for hits in a game by the Bulldogs since four hits were used to beat Florida State in the Tallahassee Regional.
 
The 1-0 lead was built when Jake Mangum reached as a hit batsman and later scored on a Hunter Stovall double.
            
The Beavers tied the contest in their half of the first inning before using four hits to score five runs in the second inning.
            
In the third inning, Stovall connected for an RBI-single which scored Jordan Westburg, who also reached as a hit batsman. The Bulldogs stranded two runners in the third inning and could not cash in on a leadoff double by Justin Foscue in the fourth inning.
            
The MSU bullpen kept the squad in contention before Oregon State erupted for four runs in the seventh inning.
            
Jacob Billingsley (5-4) drew the start but was lifted with one out in the second inning. Billingsley allowed five hits and six runs (all earned), with two walks. Keegan James threw the next 3.2 innings, before giving way to Denver McQuary and then Blake Smith.
Overall, MSU pitching walked nine batters and hit two more.
            
Oregon State collected 15 hits. Trevor Larnach and Nick Madrigal each had three hits for the Beavers.
 
Stovall finished with two of MSU's five hits.
 
 
NEXT UP FOR MSU
 
The Diamond Dawgs are looking to continue their run in Omaha with a Saturday elimination game against Oregon State. Game time has not yet been confirmed, but will be at either 2 p.m. or 7 p.m. on ESPN depending on the outcome of Friday's late game.
 
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CoSIDA Academic All-Americns

STARKVILLE, Miss. – Mississippi State's JT Mackay and Nicolas Quijera have earned spots on the Google Cloud Academic All-America Team selected by CoSIDA. Both men received third-team selections.

"We all have the same goal for our athletes when they leave, and that's to graduate and be a better athlete than when they came," head coach Steve Dudley said. "That's our number one rule on the team. We firmly believe that as a staff and are able to inject that into the attitudes of our kids."

Mackay is a junior finance major, boasting a 4.00 GPA. The Dayton, Ohio, native has been named to the President's List and earned Top Dawgs Honors with a 4.00 GPA in each of the last three semesters. He was named to the SEC Spring Honor Roll in 2017 and First-Year Honor Roll for 2015-16.

"I'm extremely honored to have been selected," Mackay said. "I'm blessed to be recognized for the hard work I've devoted toward school. I could not have gotten to this point if it weren't for my family, coaching staff, professors, teammates and all of MSU. I would like to thank them all for creating an environment where we are students first, then athletes."

On the track, Mackay broke his personal best in the 10,000m at the Penn Relays this season, shaving 23 seconds off his previous best. At the SEC Championships, he placed 15th in the 10,000m.

Quijera, the NCAA runner-up in the javelin, was also named the SEC Men's Co-Scholar-Athlete of the Year ahead of the conference championships where he won a bronze medal. He graduated in early May with a degree in economics, finishing with a 3.92 GPA and earning a spot on the President's List and Bulldog Honor Roll in every semester of his career.

"I had two focuses at MSU: track and school," Quijera said. "I'm very proud of the accomplishments in the field and the classroom because I know the hard work I put into them."

Quijera and Mackay join Nuno Borges of the men's tennis team to give MSU three academic all-Americans. Emily Heimberger (softball) and Anastasia Rentouli (women's tennis) earned first-team all-district honors.

For more information on the MSU track and field team, follow the program on Twitter, like them on Facebook and join them on Instagram by searching @HailStateTF. You can also find all access coverage on SnapChat by searching 'HailStateSnap'.

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06-19-18 BB CWS vs. North CarolinaElijah MacNamee #40 celebrates Jordan Westburg's grand slamPhoto by Kelly Donoho

3:30 p.m. Monday, Omaha Doubletree
 
Mississippi State's baseball team walks through a tunnel of fans as it loads the bus to head to TD Ameritrade Park for its second game of the College World Series, a winner's bracket matchup with North Carolina.
 
3:50 p.m., TD Ameritrade Park
 
The Bulldogs arrive at the stadium and discover the first game of the day – the loser's bracket matchup between Oregon State and Washington – is in a rain delay.
 
4:45 p.m., in transit
 
After an hour of sitting in a holding room, MSU decides to bus back to the team hotel and wait out the rain delay in comfort.
 
7:50 p.m., in transit
 
Still unsure if the weather will cooperate, the team returns to the stadium for batting practice and warm-ups after the NCAA announces play will resume between OSU and UW, with the MSU-UNC game set to begin 65 minutes after its conclusion.
 
9:15 p.m., in transit
 
The NCAA announces that MSU's game will in fact not be played until the following morning at 10 a.m. After a quick chat in the locker room going over the new itinerary, the bus is loaded for the fourth time of the day and the team returns to the Doubletree for the night.
 

"We came together and we were like, we don't care when we play," freshman All-American Tanner Allen says. "If you asked us two weeks ago, do you want to play at six in the morning in Omaha? We'd have been like, heck yes. We really didn't care."

 
6:40 a.m. Tuesday, Omaha Doubletree
 
The wake-up call comes for MSU players, including a reminder to be at team breakfast by 7 a.m.
 
7:30 a.m., Omaha Doubletree
 
As rain falls yet again, MSU loads the bus for the fifth time to play UNC in the College World Series.
 

"Everybody's double-fisting coffee," catcher Dustin Skelton says. "They're obnoxious. We're playing music in the back of the bus. I mean, we're going nuts."

 
7:50 a.m., TD Ameritrade Park
 
Junior outfielder Jake Mangum, iced coffee in one hand and hot coffee in the other, strides across the locker room and yells, "I'm beaned up, baby!"
 

"Beaned up," he later says with a laugh. "We were beaned up. Lot of coffee running through our veins."

 
9:15 a.m., TD Ameritrade Park
 
While MSU is taking batting practice in cages underneath the stadium, the NCAA announces another rain delay, this one relatively short, and MSU's game is rescheduled for a 10:15 a.m. start.
 
10:00 a.m., TD Ameritrade Park
 
The stadium PA announces the starting lineups for each team. When Mangum is announced, senior pitcher Zach Neff steps to the top of the dugout, takes off his cap and waves to the crowd.
 

"Thank you!" he yells as MSU fans applaud.

 
10:15 a.m., TD Ameritrade Park
 
Mangum steps to the plate and the game begins.
 
10:49 a.m., TD Ameritrade Park
 
With MSU down 1-0 in the top of the second, freshman Jordan Westburg hits a grand slam to put the Bulldogs up 4-1.
 

"It's unbelievable," he says. "It's a moment every ball player wants to go through, and I was lucky enough to go through that."

 

"I gave up one in the first," starting pitcher Konnor Pilkington says, "then he comes back in the second and says, 'Hey, I got your back.'"

 
1:05 p.m., TD Ameritrade Park
 
Six innings after scoring MSU's first four runs of the game, Westburg drives in State's final three by hitting a three-RBI double to put the Bulldogs up 12-2 in the top of the eighth inning. With seven RBI, Westburg ties the College World Series record for RBI in one game.
 

"A day he and his family are going to remember forever," interim MSU head coach Gary Henderson says.

 
 
 
1:32 p.m., TD Ameritrade Park
 
Clocking in at three hours and 17 minutes, the game comes to an end with MSU beating North Carolina 12-2 to advance in the winner's bracket, one win away from the Championship Series.
 

"We just knew it was gonna happen," Westburg says, "the way this season has been going."

 
2:17 p.m., TD Ameritrade Park
 
For the sixth and final time for this game, MSU loads the team bus, victory in hand, the coffee long since dispensed and consumed.
 
2:30 p.m., Omaha Doubletree
 
23 hours after they walked out of a cheering crowd to leave for their second game in Omaha, the Bulldogs walk back into another cheering crowd after finally finishing their second game in Omaha.
 
-------------------------------
 
At this point, after all these hours, after nearly a month on the road between the SEC Tournament, the Tallahassee Regional, the Nashville Super Regional and the early arrival to the College World Series last Wednesday, MSU should be absolutely, completely and totally exhausted.
 

"We're not," Mangum said. "We're not exhausted. We're one win away from the Championship Series, and we get two off days before that."

 
It must be like he said: the Bulldogs are beaned up. They've got their rally banana. They're dancing to the Yodel Kid Remix. They're pretending to be each other in team introductions.
 

"It's just a bunch of rednecks having fun and playing ball," Pilkington said.

 
But beneath that fun, they're also playing with tremendous energy, with contagious passion and with apparently-unending grit.
 
It takes a special team, a special person, to go from making phone calls on a banana in the dugout to hitting grand slams in the College World Series in a matter of seconds.
 

"You've gotta be able to do those things," Henderson said of the shenanigans his team gets into in the dugout, "then you've gotta be able to become someone else inside the box."

 
And it takes a special group to follow what amounted to a 16-hour and 15-minute delay with beating a national seed by 10 runs, showing no signs of weariness for all the energy needlessly spent.
 

"Coach Henderson always tells us we're going to handle everything like men, not boys," Allen said. "Coming back and forth to the park yesterday got pretty tiring, but we were able to handle it with maturity, get in our rooms, get some rest and get ready to play this morning, and it showed."

 

"I just think it's the environment," Skelton added. "That's what you grew up as a little kid dreaming about. You dreamed about coming to the College World Series and playing in front of 25,000 people. You just have to go out there and you've got to compete. It's all mental. Who cares how you feel? You've got to go out there and put it all on the line for your brothers."

 
If the game is, indeed, all mental, then that may be a good sign for these Bulldogs who had every reason to doubt that they would be here and every reason to give up in the process. The hurdles they've faced have been well-documented, a team that was once just one loss away from not even making a Regional and is now one win away from the Championship Series.
 
At a school that has never won a National Championship in any team sport, this team is nearing uncharted waters. But when it comes to sink-or-swim, it's hard to pick against the group that has 20 come-from-behind wins, six dramatic walk-offs, and one incredible story.
 

"The mind is a powerful thing," Mangum said. "You can tell yourself to do anything. I'm a strong believer in the law of attraction. If you believe something is going to happen – hard enough – it'll happen."

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Preseason All-Americans Sweat Simmons

STARKVILLE, Miss. Mississippi State's pass-rush duo of junior defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons and senior defensive end Montez Sweat were selected to the Athlon Sports Preseason All-American teams, the organization announced Tuesday.
 
The Bulldogs were one of seven Southeastern Conference programs to have multiple student-athletes named a Preseason All-American as Simmons reeled in second-team honors and Sweat earned a spot on the third team. The duo helped forge a Bulldog defense that ranked 10th nationally in total defense, issuing only 306.3 yards per game. It was the best total defensive mark at MSU since 1999.
 
Despite being double-teamed for most of the 2017 season, Simmons recorded 60 tackles over his sophomore campaign and was tabbed a first-team All-SEC honoree. The Macon, Miss., native ranked 11th in the conference with 12.0 tackles for loss, which includes a career-best 5.0 sacks. Defensively, he forced and recovered two fumbles while tallying three blocks on special teams, which tied SMU's Justin Lawler for the national lead.
 
Simmons also scored twice last season with two touchdowns at Louisiana Tech, becoming the first MSU defensive player since Johnathan Banks in 2009 to score twice in a game. Simmons was also a two-time SEC Defensive Player of the Week honoree in 2017.
 
Sweat collected a league-best 10.5 sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss in his debut season en route to a first-team All-SEC selection. The 10.5 sacks ranked seventh in MSU single-season annals as he became the first Bulldog to lead the league in sacks since Willie Evans in 2005. That total also tied for eighth nationally this season. His tackle for loss total was tied for fifth in Bulldog single-season history.
 
A three-time SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week recipient in 2017, Sweat recorded at least one tackle for loss in 10 of MSU's 13 games. The Stone Mountain, Ga., native ranked sixth overall on the squad in tackles in 2017 with 46.

Sweat, Simmons and the Bulldogs will open the Joe Moorhead era inside Davis Wade Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 1 against Stephen F. Austin on ESPNU at 6:30 p.m. CT.
 
For more information on the Bulldogs, follow the MSU football team on Twitter, like them on Facebook and join them on Instagram by searching for "HailStateFB." All-access coverage is also available on SnapChat by searching for "HailStateSnap."
 
--HailState.com--
 
2018 Preseason Honors
 
Elgton Jenkings, Sr., OL
Rimington Trophy Spring Watch List
 
Jeffery Simmons, Jr, DT
Athlon Sports Preseason All-American (Second Team)
 
Montez Sweat, Sr., DE
Athlon Sports Preseason All-American (Third Team)
 

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Moorhead Practice

STARKVILLE, Miss. – Joe Moorhead and his Mississippi State staff will host a Ladies Football Clinic this Saturday, June 23 featuring 'chalk talk' instruction from the coaches, lunch and on-field drills.

Ladies interested in participating in the clinic can pre-register at HailStateCamps.com for $75. On-site registration, autographs and photos will take place from 8:30-10 a.m. Saturday at the north end zone entrance of Davis Wade Stadium.

Moorhead, the 33rd head coach in MSU history, will open the clinic at 10 a.m. and introduce the coaching staff. The clinic will run until 3 p.m. and also include a tour of the Bulldogs' facilities at Davis Wade Stadium and the Leo Seal Jr. Football Complex.

Moorhead takes the reins of a program that has been ranked as high as No. 11 by preseason publications. The Bulldogs return 17 starters and open preseason camp on August 3. State hosts Stephen F. Austin in the season-opener at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 1 in Davis Wade Stadium.

Season tickets for the 2018 Bulldog season start at $200 and can be purchased at HailState.com/MoorCowbell, by calling 1-888-GO-DAWGS or in person at the MSU Athletic Ticket Office on the first floor of the Bryan Athletic Administration Building (288 Lakeview Drive), Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

For more information on the Bulldogs, follow the MSU football team on Twitter, like them on Facebook and join them on Instagram by searching for "HailStateFB." All-access coverage is also available on SnapChat by searching for "HailStateSnap.

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Westburg CWS

OMAHA, Neb. – First, Jordan Westburg brought the Mississippi State baseball team the rally banana.
 
Tuesday at TD Ameritrade Park, the freshman designated hitter brought the Bulldogs a 12-2 College World Series win over No. 6 national seed North Carolina.
 
Westburg hit a grand slam to highlight a four-run second inning, before hitting a three-run double during State's eight-run eighth inning. He became the sixth player in CWS history to drive in seven runs in a game, as well as the first to accomplish that feat since the 2001 season.
 
"The grand slam with two strikes in the second inning was big," MSU assistant coach Jake Gautreau said. "Our offense was not good early, but it was good later. Konnor Pilkington and Cole Gordon teamed up to pitch a great game. Against Washington, we struck out more than usual. Today, we asked the guys to have a two-strike approach to start at-bats. That helped us get some really good at-bats against quality two-strike pitches."
 
MSU (39-27) will face either North Carolina (44-19) or Oregon State (50-11-1) at 2 p.m. Friday (ESPN). The Bulldogs will have two chances to win one game to reach the CWS championship series for the second time in six seasons.
 
MSU is now 2-0 in College World Series play for the third time in the program's 10 appearances.
 
Pilkington (3-6) allowed six hits and two runs (both earned) in six-plus innings of work. He was lifted after a leadoff triple in the UNC seventh inning. Gordon allowed one hit, while facing 10 batters, in three innings of relief work for his fourth save.
 
The Tar Heels built a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a leadoff double, ground out and fly out.
 
From there, the Bulldogs were in control.
 
In the second inning, Elijah MacNamee reached on a single, Justin Foscue reached on an error and Luke Alexander singled to load the bases.
 
After a strikeout, Westburg hit MSU's first grand slam in Omaha since Bobby Thigpen during the Bulldogs' 1985 run.
 
North Carolina starter Austin Bergner (7-3) retired 16 straight after the grand slam before a leadoff single by Dustin Skelton in the eighth inning.
 
Westburg followed with a hit, before Jake Mangum drew an intentional walk to load the bases and end Bergner's day.
 
Rowdey Jordan, Tanner Allen and Hunter Stovall followed with consecutive RBI-singles. MacNamee reached on a ground ball, which led to an error and another run. Alexander forced in a run with a bases-loaded hit batsman, before Westburg capped the big inning with his double just inside the left field line.
 
Westburg finished with three of the Bulldogs' nine hits.
 
 
NEXT UP FOR MSU
 
The Diamond Dawgs continue their tremendous run in Omaha with a Friday afternoon battle against either North Carolina or third national seed Oregon State. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. CT at TD Ameritrade Park on ESPN. State needs just one win to advance to the national championship series for the first time since 2013 and the second time in program history.
 
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CWS June 18 Weather

OMAHA, Neb. – With inclement weather affecting the Omaha, Nebraska, area on Monday, Mississippi State baseball's scheduled College World Series matchup with North Carolina has been postponed.
 
The two teams are now scheduled to face off on Tuesday at 10 a.m. CT at TD Ameritrade Park.
 
The matchup was originally slated to begin at 6 p.m. Monday, but with rain and lightning in the area, and a delayed conclusion to the day's first contest, NCAA officials chose to postpone the second game.
 
The Diamond Dawgs and Tar Heels are matched up after each team won its opening contest on Saturday. State earned its spot in the winner's portion of the bracket after walking off against Washington to win a 1-0 pitcher's duel.
 
The winner of Tuesday morning's game will play Friday, June 22, at 2 p.m. CT, while the loser will play Wednesday at 6 p.m. Both games will be televised on ESPN.
 
For more information on the Diamond Dawg program, follow the program on Twitter, like them on Facebook and join them on Instagram by searching for "HailStateBB." You can also find all-access coverage of the program on SnapChat by searching for "HailStateSnap."

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Charles Brockman III at NCAA Championships

STARKVILLE, Miss. – Mississippi State's Charles Brockman III ended his freshman season with a bronze medal in the 400m hurdles at the USATF Junior Championships in Bloomington, Ind., over the weekend.

Brockman, MSU's freshman record holder in the event qualified in fourth place on Friday with a 51.69 second run to win his heat.

After a lengthy rain delay on Saturday, the MSU freshman record holder in the event, clocked his third sub- 51 second run of the year. Crossing the line in 50.54, Brockman took third behind Florida's Cory Poole and Houston's Quivell Jordan.

"I ran close to a personal best, so I'm proud about that," Brockman said. "I wanted more than anything to make the Top Two, so I could be on the world juniors team. Now that my season is over, I'm going home to recover, relax and motivate myself even more for next year."

First year 800m phenom Marco Arop was also in action over the weekend, competing at the Caltaf Track Classic in Calgary, Alta. Arop ran the 400m for his high school club team of Voleo Athletics where he placed second in 47.39.

Freshman thrower Alicia Viveros was originally scheduled to appear at the USATF Juniors but did not compete.

For more information on the MSU track and field team, follow the program on Twitter, like them on Facebook and join them on Instagram by searching @HailStateTF. You can also find all access coverage on SnapChat by searching 'HailStateSnap'.

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