MSU Bulldogs return to Omaha for CWS

From school reports


Mississippi State clinched its ninth appearance in the College World Series with a dramatic 6-5 win over No. 6 national seed Virginia Monday afternoon at Davenport Field to clinch the Charlottesville Super Regional.

With the victory, the Bulldogs swept the Super Regional best-of-three series and won its second-ever Super Regional in five career tries. MSU advances to the College World Series for the first time since 2007 and will play for a first-time in the new CWS home, T.D. Ameritrade Stadium.

MSU will face No. 3 national seed Oregon State in the opening round of the eight-team, double-elimination CWS. The Bulldogs’ opener is scheduled for Saturday, June 15, at 2 p.m. CT and will be televised by ESPN2.

“It goes without saying that Virginia is a great club,” MSU head coach John Cohen said. “Virginia’s RPI is No. 2 in the country and they are a really good club. I’m so proud of our guys. I think the thing that I’m most proud of with our guys is they all wanted to be in Omaha but their goal is to try and win the whole thing.

“They don’t see this as a job being finished. We’re excited but at the same time, I think these kids still think we have some journey left to go here.”

MSU held a 5-3 lead when the series clincher was suspended by rain in the seventh inning Sunday night. Once play resumed Monday, the Bulldogs expanded the lead before holding off a furious Cavaliers rally in the ninth inning.

The story of the series clincher was the relief performance of Chad Girodo. Trevor Fitts started on the mound for the Bulldogs and was lifted with one out in the third inning and his team down 1-0.

From there, Girodo (8-1) sparkled in relief, allowing five hits and two runs (both earned), with 10 strikeouts and two walks. In three regional and super regional appearances, Girodo recorded 24 punch outs.

For the contest, MSU finished with 10 hits, after pounding out 20 hits in an 11-6 win in the series opener Saturday. Adam Frazier had two hits and finished the Super Regional hitting at an 8-for-11 clip. Frazier is now second on the all-time single season hits list at MSU with 102 hits, one shy of the school record by Brian Wiese.

C.T. Bradford and Derrick Armstrong also had multiple hits.

In relief, Jonathan Holder worked a 1-2-3 eighth inning but ran into trouble in the ninth inning. The Bulldogs gave up two hits and a walk, while also making an error on a potential game-ending ground ball. Still, Holder regrouped and got a ground ball from Derek Fisher to end the contest.

“Yeah, I thought we’d get here because it’s Mississippi State,” Cohen said. “I really believe in our staff. The most important thing you do as a staff is get the right people in our program. These are the right kids. We have phenomenal kids.”