MSU, USM meet in NCAA

Published 8:07 pm Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Both Southern Mississippi and Mississippi State were given at large bids to the NCAA Baseball Tournament on Monday.

And that was just the beginning of the news for the Golden Eagles and Bulldogs.

USM will travel to Atlanta for its ninth-straight NCAA postseason berth and the 11th in the school’s history.

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The Golden Eagles, a No. 2 seed in the Atlanta Regional, will meet No. 3 Mississippi State, in a 3 p.m., ET, contest, on Friday, June 3, while host and No. 1 seed Georgia Tech will meet No. 4 seed Austin Peay, at 7 p.m., ET. All the games will be played at Russ Chandler Stadium on the Georgia Tech campus.

The tournament will run with 3 p.m., and 7 p.m., ET games on Saturday and Sunday, with an if necessary game slated for Monday at 7 p.m., ET.

Southern Miss (39-17) captured a share of the Conference USA regular-season title this spring, its first since the 2003 campaign, and with a win in the regional will capture its third 40-win season in the last four years.

This will be the second time the Golden Eagles have traveled to Atlanta for a NCAA postseason regional. The Golden Eagles won the 2009 regional there and went on to their first-ever College World Series appearance.

This will be the first time Southern Miss has met Mississippi State (34-23) in the postseason.Television scheduling details will be released later.

“I’m excited about playing in a great regional,” said MSU head baseball coach John Cohen. “Not a single kid in our locker room has played in an NCAA regional so we are excited about this opportunity. We will get our schedule hammered out this afternoon and get ready to play in a great regional. I’m proud for what our kids have done and excited for the opportunity we have to keep playing.”

“It’s a great tournament field, and with Southern Miss we might have one of the best matchups of two/three seeds in the country,” he added.

It is MSU’s 31st appearance in NCAA postseason competition and the school’s 25th since the NCAA adopted the regional tournament playoff format in 1976.

MSU nipped Southern Miss 5-4 in a neutral site contest April 5 at Trustmark Park in Pearl, Miss.

Both Ole Miss and LSU were left out of the NCAA Tournament. Both were hoping for at large berths as well.