HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WJTV) – In two days, Mississippi State faced elimination four times. The Bulldogs won all four games to become Hattiesburg Regional champions.
Andy Cannizaro’s squad topped Southern Miss 8-6 early Tuesday morning after beating the Golden Eagles 8-1 hours earlier on Monday to advance to Super Regionals for the second straight year. They will take on conference rival LSU next, starting on June 10 in Baton Rouge at 8 p.m.
Mississippi State struck for four unanswered runs in the final three innings of the second game. After getting within one run in the seventh, the Bulldogs took the lead in the eighth on a Brent Rooker bloop that was misplayed in right field, allowing two runs to score. Elijah MacNamee added an insurance run with a single in the top of the ninth.
Southern Miss jumped out ahead in game two, as Dylan Burdeaux’s solo home run started a four-run first inning to make it 4-1 in favor of the Golden Eagles. But down 5-1 in the fifth, Cody Brown launched a three-run blast to make it a one-run game. He was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Hattiesburg Regional.
In game one, two home runs and a complete game carried Mississippi State. Josh Lovelady’s three-run home run in the third inning capped off a five-run frame that helped push the Bulldogs to a 5-1 lead. Brent Rooker added to it in the sixth with a two-run blast, his first of two long balls on the day. As a team, Mississippi State tallied 13 hits in game one, with eight different players recording hits.
Jacob Billingsley made sure all of the offensive support didn’t go to waste. He threw his first-ever complete game, allowing just one run on six hits with five strikeouts. His previous career high for innings was five.
For Southern Miss, the Golden Eagles finish the season at 50-16. This is the second straight year they have been eliminated in the Regional round of the NCAA Tournament.
As for the Bulldogs, Cannizaro will get to face the team he left to come to Starkville. Mississippi State is 0-3 against LSU this season.
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated with the correct starting date and time for Mississippi State’s Super Regional series with LSU.