Baseball

Former Mississippi State baseball players celebrate Bulldogs winning national title

OMAHA, NE - June 25, 2021 - Batting helmets in the dugout before the 2021 Mens College World Series semifinal round game between the Texas Longhorns and the Mississippi State Bulldogs at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, NE. Photo By Austin Perryman
Mississippi State baseball. Photo: Austin Perryman/Mississippi State Athletics.

For the first time ever, the Mississippi State Bulldogs are national champions. Last night, Mississippi State absolutely crushed the Vanderbilt Commodores to put an exclamation point on a thrilling run through the 2021 College World Series.

This national championship has been a long time coming for the Mississippi State Bulldogs and it’s certainly great that the Mississippi State baseball team is the one bringing the national championship trophy home.

As I wrote last night:

Mississippi State has done it. The Bulldogs have finally done it.

It’s fitting that Mississippi State’s first championship comes in baseball. The Bulldogs have come out on top of the sport many Mississippi State fans treasure above all others. In the program’s 12th trip to the College World Series, the Bulldogs made a run and won a title.

Ethan Lee, Mississippi State has won its first national championship

And there are so many former Mississippi State baseball players who have been waiting for this moment for a very long time. Many of them were in Omaha themselves and simply just couldn’t get that title won, for one reason or another.

But they gave everything they had to MSU and now they’re celebrating that MSU has a national title.

Former Mississippi State Diamond Dawgs react to Mississippi State thrashing Vanderbilt to win national title

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There’s a lot on congratulating to be done for what Mississippi State accomplished last night.

And, as former Mississippi State pitcher Ross Mitchell points out, last night was certainly “a great night to be a bulldog.” Mitchell, along with so many others, made it to Omaha for Mississippi State. He knows how difficult it is to get there and how hard it is to win there.

Same with Justin Foscue and Jared Liebelt. Both of these Bulldogs also made it to the College World Series. In fact, these two made it twice, once in 2018 and then again in 2019.

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I don’t think the fact that Mississippi State had won a national title hit me right away last night. I’ve been processing it on and off for the past 12 hours or so. But Mississippi State won it all this season. The Bulldogs battled and fought and responded after every rough loss.

And yeah, “National Champions” definitely sounds great when talking about Mississippi State.

Of course, while I’ve been trying to take in and absorb the fact that Mississippi State won it all last night, it seems like the next two guys aren’t having to do that. Elijah MacNamee and Konnor Pilkington’s reactions to MSU winning it all involve a lot of exclamation points.

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I can’t imagine just how great these guys are feeling after seeing Vanderbilt fall in back-to-back games. Wes Rea brings up a fascinating point when he says “the @HailStateBB brotherhood is a proud one” after seeing MSU thrash Vandy to win a title.

So many Bulldogs have worked tirelessly to see the Mississippi State baseball program get to this point. So many people did everything they could to continue building this program to be a championship-caliber team.

And that paid off in the best way possible last night. So many people now have so much to be proud of.

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And someone who has certainly worked tirelessly in multiple different roles to make this possible is John Cohen. Cohen, first a Mississippi State baseball player and then later the head coach of the Bulldogs, has been a part of this program for a very long time.

Of course, you can’t forget about the guy who coached Cohen. He was incredibly instrumental in Mississippi State even becoming any good at college baseball.

Ron Polk helped lay the foundation and build MSU into a baseball powerhouse over decades of work. Cohen, once he was MSU’s head coach, then took what had been built and guided MSU to the championship series for the first time in 2013.

Though neither Polk or Cohen ever won it all, their work helped make this possible. Cohen would go on to hire Chris Lemonis, who then won it all for Mississippi State.

The Bulldogs have finally claimed a national title of their own. It finally happened. Take a deep breath and enjoy it, folks.

For more independent Mississippi State news and commentary, follow The Underdog Tribune on Facebook and Twitter. Follow Ethan Lee on Facebook and Twitter.

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