Bulldogs home, Rebs travel for Super Regionals|[06/05/07]

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Ole Miss is heading west while Mississippi State is staying home.

The goal, though, is the same – reach Omaha and the College World Series.

Both Mississippi teams are in the final 16 in college baseball and will begin their NCAA Super Regionals this weekend. Mississippi State (36-20) is scheduled to host Clemson (41-21) beginning Friday in a best-of-three series. The Rebels (40-23) will head to Tempe, Ariz., for a matchup with Arizona State (46-13). That series is scheduled to begin on Saturday.

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&#8220I’m so proud of this program to be in this situation for the third straight year,” said Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco, whose team has hosted Super Regionals the past two years. &#8220I’m proud of this team. Expectations were so high going into this season, but these guys have been able to respond to those expectations even in the down times.

&#8220This has been a trying year for us with all the tough games, but at the end of the day, we are going to the Super Regional.”

Ole Miss reached its first Super Regional two years ago before falling to Texas. Last year, the Rebels were beaten by Miami. In both series, the Rebels had a 1-0 series lead.

&#8220We always believed we had it in us to get in this position,” shortstop Zack Cozart said. &#8220We just needed to put it all together. We’re excited about this opportunity to play in the Super Regional.”

Mississippi State hasn’t played in a Super Regional since 2001 when it fell to Cal State-Fullerton. The Bulldogs have never hosted a Super Regional, which was put into its current format in 1999.

Overall, the Bulldogs are making their fifth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and the 11th in the past 12 seasons. This is their 24th tournament appearance since the NCAA adopted its regional tournament format in the mid-1970s.

The Bulldogs reached the Super Regional with a three-game sweep through the Tallahassee Regional, knocking off No. 3 Florida State twice in the process.

Mississippi State is no stranger to Clemson. The Tigers won the Clemson Regional last season over Mississippi State, eliminating the Bulldogs from the NCAA Tournament.

Ticket booklets for the three-game Super Regional are $22 for reserve chairbacks and $15 for general admission seats. Tickets went on sale this morning and can be bought by calling 1-888-463-2947, or online at www.mstateathletics.com.

Current reserved chairback seat holders will have until 5 p.m. Wednesday to reserve their seats for the Super Regional. After that time, all seats will be sold on a first-come, first-serve basis.