Five days remain until baseball returns to Starkville. The Bulldogs are riding into the 2022 season on a high after taking home the gold in the College World Series. Fans can only hope the team will continue to dominate in 2022. Diamond Dawg domination is best defined as winning games that matter. Which games really sealed the deal for last year's success? Read on.
Win 1- Ole Miss
For a Mississippi State University fan, any win over Ole Miss is a good one. Super Bulldog Weekend was especially good to baseball fans in 2021 as Dudy Noble went back to max capacity. The three-game series against the Bulldog rivals ended in a rubber match. MSU closed out the weekend with a 7-5-win over Ole Miss.
Win 2- Vanderbilt
Moving into the series, MSU was ranked No. 2, with Vanderbilt following closely behind at No. 3. During this series, MSU was able to show Vanderbilt they are a competitor although the Dawgs dropped 2/3 games. The starting pitching and bullpen were strong, but the hitting was even stronger.
In a post-game interview, Coach Lemonis stated the Bulldog strategy against Vanderbilt’s Jack Leiter.
“We are kind of a grind-it-out offense and we were able to get (Jack Leiter's) pitch count up and get him out of the game early, which is a huge key against a guy like him,” Lemonis said.
The Diamond Dawgs were able to hand Leiter his first regular season loss as he gave up season high numbers to the Bulldogs. An impressive feat by the Dawgs, and one to keep the Commodores on their toes against MSU.
Win 3- Alabama
Like beating Ole Miss, anytime you can roll over the Crimson Tide, it is a good day. The Bulldogs did just that during their visit to Tuscaloosa. MSU closed out the regular season with a bang when they swept Alabama on their way to the SEC Tournament. The win over ‘Bama represented even more. It was the 20th win in Southeastern Conference play for MSU in 2021, to mark the first time in program history that MSU has posted back-to-back 20-win SEC seasons.
Win 4- Notre Dame
To make a long story short, this is the game that sent the Dawgs to the College World Series for the 12th time. Game 3 against the Fighting Irish set attendance records at Dudy Noble Field. Most importantly, this game ensured Starkville’s favorite seniors like Rowdey Jordan and Tanner Allen would once again see the postseason in their college baseball careers.
“"It's pretty special. We spoke about it in our office today, there's no way Tanner (Allen) and Rowdey (Jordan) are going out with an 'L' in this ballpark,” Lemonis said.
Win 5- National Championship
This win is one that will send chills over any baseball fan. Dominant pitching by Bednar and Sims, strong offense and a need to win a game was all it took. After many appearances in the CWS, MSU finally had something to show. It was a moment Bulldog players and fans alike will never forget.