cord and 2-7 mark in Southeastern Conference play.
Suddenly though, MSU turned things around. Sparked by a weekend series win over Ole Miss in early April, the Bulldogs ended the year winning 17 of their final 26 regular season games. That included a 9-1 mark against three teams that were chosen national seeds on Monday – Florida, Ole Miss and Arkansas.
MSU centerfielder Jake Mangum attributed the turnaround to State's youngsters growing up and the veterans starting to pull their share of the weight.
“A lot of the younger guys started to understand what it took to win in the league,” Mangum said. “The older guys really did their jobs. It was a lot of fun to see.”
State's resurgence has now netted the Bulldogs their 37th all-time NCAA Tournament appearance and third in a row after last missing the event in 2015.
It's MSU's third trip to Tallahassee for a regional since 2007. The Bulldogs went 3-0 en route to winning the 2007 Tallahassee Regional including a pair of wins over host Florida State. MSU also played in the 2012 Tallahassee Regional, but were eliminated from the tournament with a 1-2 record.
The Bulldogs will attempt to avoid such fate this time.
Whoever emerges from this year's Tallahassee Regional will meet the winner of the Clemson Regional in a best-of-three Super Regional next weekend with a trip to the College World Series on the line. The Clemson Regional features host Clemson, along with Vanderbilt, St. John's and Morehead State.
MSU can worry about that bridge when it comes time to possibly cross it though. For now, all the Bulldogs' eyes are on Tallahassee. Few could have imagined this as a possibility not long ago. Yet here MSU is and it will try to make the most of it.
“We're all excited,” Mangum said. “We've come a long way this year. From where we were on February 21 as a team to now, we've made huge strides. We're excited and ready for the challenge.”
Despite Monday's Memorial Day holiday, construction continued on Mississippi State's Polk-DeMent Stadium at Dudy Noble Field. If the Bulldogs are able to win the Tallahassee Regional this weekend, there may still be an opportunity for them to host a...