Mississippi State saw a whole bunch of cameras and worked out in Omaha. It's the first time in five years that the maroon and white have stepped foot on college baseball's biggest stage.
Gary Henderson announced that Ethan Small will start for MSU Saturday against Washington. Konnor Pilkington gets the ball Monday regardless of result against the Huskies. Coach is telling his squad to embrace the stage.
"It's hard to get here, and I appreciate it a lot getting here," Henderson said. "Got to give a lot of credit to our kids that jumped on board. We had very unique experiences that I'm sure you're all familiar with. Our families got on board, tremendous appreciation of our fanbase. They travel with us every step of the way, it's been a great ride for us. Really really appreciate my assistant coaches and what they've allowed me to do. And appreciate our kids a lot. We're really excited to be here."
Mac and The Mayor had plenty to say Friday before the College World Series.
"You'll be telling your kids, your grandkids, your family members for the rest of your life what it's like to go to the College World Series," Elijah MacNamee said. "Who did this on the team and who did that. Just what it took to get here, and it's something that's sinking in for all of us. And we're going to remember this for the rest of our lives. We're going to remember these guys forever and we're leaving a legacy at our school."
Jake Mangum has heard from Bulldogs with Omaha experience. "A lot of the older guys have reached out to me. Jonathan Holder, Adam Frazier. Wes Rea, Detts, the list goes on and on. Cody Brown, a lot of guys that have been here and paved the way at Mississippi State, congratulated us and said they were proud of us. We're here, and we still have unfinished business."
Mississippi State faces Washington Saturday at 7:00pm. The game will be televised on ESPN. Henderson says to expect a challenge from the CWS newcomers.
"They've got a guy in the 4 hole, Wainhouse that has hit half of their home runs. And they've got a guy that runs really well that has half of their stolen bases. And so you're going to have to deal with both of those things. Those are 2 elite skill kids. Got a couple kids in the bullpen that are going to be very competitive. And I would expect a really close, tight game."
2018 College World Series
TD Ameritrade Park - Omaha, Nebraska
Saturday, June 16th
North Carolina 8, Oregon State 6
7:36pm: Mississippi State vs. Washington (TV: ESPN)
Monday, June 18th
1:00pm: MSU/UW loser vs. Oregon State (TV: ESPN)
- Elimination Game
6:00pm: MSU/UW winner vs. North Carolina (TV: ESPN)
- Winner's Bracket
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