Mississippi State outlasts USM 8-6 in Hattiesburg Regional Champ - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Mississippi State outlasts USM 8-6 in Hattiesburg Regional Championship

Mississippi State outlasts USM 8-6 in Hattiesburg Regional Championship


Clearly, the Bulldogs play their best with their backs against the wall. Mississippi State (40-25) survived four straight elimination games, inching past Southern Miss 8-6 to win the Hattiesburg Regional Championship and advance to the Super Regionals.

"Everything about this day and everything about this game tonight, it just summarizes who we are as a team," head coach Andy Cannizaro said. "Just the resiliency, the fight, the grit, the grind. These guys never quit."

As Monday night bled into Tuesday morning, the Bulldogs staged a late-inning comeback for the ages. Trailing 6-5 in the 8th, Southern Miss failed to get under a Brent Rooker pop-up, scoring two Bulldogs runs to give State a lead they would not relenquish.

Thanks in part to his three-run home run in the fifth inning, Biloxi native Cody Brown earned Hattiesburg Regional Most Outstanding Player honors.

"Playing on the road is tough, but the atmosphere was great," Brown said. "It was a great Championship Monday, and getting to play in front of those fans like that in this atmosphere is something really special that I really enjoy."

The late-night, late-inning rally closed the books on Southern Miss' winningest season in program history (50-16), doing so in heartbreaking fashion.

"What I don't want to lose in this whole thing is, yes, our season ended today," head coach Scott Berry said. "But what a great season it was for these young men that are sitting next to me and all their teammates. It's a very, very special group."

The Golden Eagles took leads as large as 5-1 and 6-4 before Mississippi State pushed through to win the Regional. This wraps up the collegiate career of Conference USA Player of the Year Dylan Burdeaux, who had a hard time fighting back his emotions in the post-game press conference.

"This ride's been unbelievable," the Southern Miss senior said. "It's definitely one I'm never going to forget. It was four of the funnest years of my life. I'll never forget these guys, the relationships I've made and we'll definitely be lifelong friends for sure."

Mississippi State now advances to the Baton Rouge Super Regional, where head coach Andy Cannizaro faces off against his former team, LSU.

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