The Mississippi State Bulldogs will not have to travel far from home when they go to the No. 6 National Seed Louisiana this weekend to compete with the Ragin' Cajuns, the Jackson State Tigers, and the San Diego State Aztecs to see which team will advance to a super regional the following weekend.
No. 6 National Seed Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns
Record: 53-7 overall, 26-4 in the Sun Belt
Biggest Wins: 2-1 vs. Alabama, 1-0 vs LSU prior to conference play, Sun Belt Tournament Champions
Key Hitters: Caleb Adams (.386, 11HRs, 39 RBIs), Joe Conrad (.367, 7HRs, 55 RBIs); six others above .300
Key Pitchers: Carson Baranik (10-1, 3.30 ERA), Cody Boutte (8-0, 2.75 ERA), Ryan Wilson (5-0, 7 saves, 1.69 ERA), Reagan Bazar (4-0, 6 saves, 2.32 ERA)
The Ragin' Cajuns come into this regional on the longest winning streak in the nation at ten wins, and they also have the best record in college baseball this year. The team also took over the No. 1 ranking in the USA Today and Baseball America Polls, joining their No. 1 ranking in the Collegiate Baseball rankings.
Louisiana typically lands within the top 50 in crowd attendance every year, and with Ragin' Cajun fans scooping up most of the regional tickets this year, M. L. "Tigue" Moore Field will be tough place for opponents to play.
No. 3 Regional Seed San Diego State Aztecs
(Listen to Matt Hoffman from Mountain West Connection break down the Aztecs on the Daily Grind on Bulldog Sports Radio)
Record: 42-19 overall, 17-13 in Mountain West
Biggest Wins: 1-0 vs. No. 24 San Diego, 2-1 vs. No. 21 UC-Irvine
Key Hitters: Ty France (.358, 5 HRs, 45 RBIs), Tim Zier (.325, 1 HR, 33 RBIs), Brad Haynal (.313, 12 HRs, 49 RBIs)
Key Pitchers: Michael Cederoth (6-2, 20 saves, 2.28 ERA), Bubba Derby (8-3, 2.69 ERA), Mark Seyler (8-5, 3.99 ERA)
The San Diego State Aztecs qualified for the NCAA tournament the hard way as a conference champion by having to come through the losers' bracket to win the Mountain West Conference.
The Aztecs have a bit of pop in their bats, and that should be amplified this weekend as Moore Field has smaller dimensions than Tony Gwinn Stadium.
Of note, the Aztecs struggled a bit as a road team this year, but they did go 4-0 in neutral site games.
No. 4 Regional Seed Jackson State Tigers
Record: 31-23 overall, 9-15 in SWAC
Biggest Wins: 1-0 vs. South Alabama, 2-0 vs. ULM, SWAC Tournament Champions
Key Hitters: Tilur Smith (.344, 3 HRs, 27 RBIs), Melvin Rodriguez (.310, 3 HRs, 45 RBIs), Bryce Taylor (.253, 4 HRs, 44 RBIs)
Key Pitchers: Desmond Russell (9-4, 3.50 ERA), Alexander Juday (5-7, 4.17 ERA)
The Tigers surprised many by winning the SWAC championship this year after posting a losing record in conference. In order to win, Jackson State had to knock off the top two seeds in the conference to open the tournament. Jackson State and Mississippi State share a bit of history this year as well. When a fire destroyed much of Jackson State's baseball equipment, Mississippi State sent extra gear to the Tigers.