Bulldogs continue streak, Bama next
By By Jeff Byrd / staff writer
May 21, 2002
The streak lives for Mississippi State. The Bulldogs kept alive their streak by making the Southeastern Conference Baseball Tournament for the 16th consecutive season.
And they did it at the expense of arch-rival Ole Miss. State swept all three games from the Rebels in a do or die series at Dudy Noble Field in Starkville that concluded Sunday with the Bulldogs' 10-5 win. Ole Miss, which just three weeks ago was ranked 6th in the nation and a virtual lock for the SEC Tournament, was left out after Arkansas took 2-of-3 games against Auburn in Fayetteville, Ark.
Next up for the Bulldogs will be a Wednesday date with Alabama in the second game of the SEC Tournament. Game time is set for 1 p.m. at the Hoover Met in Birmingham, Ala.
In a Monday teleconference with the media in preparation for this week's SEC Tournament, Mississippi State head coach Ron Polk was glad to see his team rise to the occasion, but at the same felt a bit of sadness on the collapse of Ole Miss' season.
Polk said the atmosphere at Dudy Noble for the series reminded him of what it's like at NCAA Regional time.
The Bulldogs brutalized the Ole Miss staff scoring double digit runs in all three games. They whipped the Rebels 12-2 and 14-5 on Saturday before wrapping things up with the 10-5 win on Sunday.
State scored seven runs in one inning twice once in each game; and also had at least five at bats with four runs or more.
Now, the Bulldogs will get another crack at Alabama. The Crimson Tide swept State in a three-game set in Tuscaloosa in the series before Ole Miss. The Bulldogs had lost seven straight SEC games before righting the ship this past weekend.
At 33-22-1, Polk said the Bulldogs are on the bubble for a NCAA berth.