The Norman Transcript

Breaking News

National Sports

June 23, 2013

’85 club still casts shadow at MSU

OMAHA, Neb. — The star-studded 1985 Mississippi State baseball team has cast a long shadow over every Bulldogs club that followed. Now the 2013 team is poised to do what no other Mississippi State team in any sport has done — win a national championship.

“They feel like they’re on a mission,” Bulldogs coach John Cohen said Saturday. “They feel like things are coming together for them and they want it all.”

The Bulldogs (51-18) will be playing a UCLA team going for its first title in baseball and the school’s NCAA-record 108th in a team sport when the best-of-three College World Series finals begin Monday night.

Mississippi State’s 1985 squad was talent-laden with future major-league All-Stars Will Clark, Rafael Palmeiero, Jeff Brantley and Bobby Thigpen, who led the 50-win Bulldogs to Southeastern Conference regular-season and tournament championships and then to Omaha, where they won two games under Ron Polk.

Their images remain prominent around the baseball complex in Starkville, Miss., and all have sent messages to Cohen wishing the team good luck.

“You hear about Palmeiro and Brantley and those guys who were on that club, and it’s great to be in that company,” first baseman Wes Rea said. “But then again, we’re trying to leave a legacy as well.”

Mississippi State and UCLA (47-17) both went 3-0 in bracket play at the CWS, and the finals figure to be low-scoring at TD Ameritrade Park, where a strong south wind has been blowing in and offense has been at a premium.

UCLA will send junior right-hander and No. 1 starter Adam Plutko (9-3) to the mound for Game 1. Cohen was undecided on his starter.

The Bulldogs have won 10 straight one-run games, including two in the CWS, and have won 15 of 18 this season. UCLA in 17-2 in one-run games and is 30-1 in games in which it holds its opponent to two runs or fewer.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
National Sports
  • Sooners advance to Super Six

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Oklahoma, Georgia and LSU advanced to the Super Six of the NCAA women’s gymnastics championships....

    April 19, 2014

  • Can the Heat flip the switch?

    MIAMI — LeBron James was walking down the hallway that the Miami Heat call “Championship Alley” a few minutes after last season’s NBA Finals, when he decided the time was right to send a message. It wasn’t for his fans....

    April 19, 2014

  • No April, May or June Madness in NBA

    AP National Writer ATLANTA — If the playoff-bound Atlanta Hawks were in any other sport, they might have a glimmer of hope for winning a championship. The NBA? No way....

    April 19, 2014

  • Warriors and Clippers take mutual dislike into playoff series

    LOS ANGELES — As much as the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors don’t like each other, they’re a lot alike in some ways....

    April 19, 2014

  • Fieger leads Senior PGA

    PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Gene Fieger shot a 3-under 69 in windy conditions Thursday to take a four-stroke lead in the Senior PGA Professional National Championship....

    April 18, 2014

  • Kuchar builds on momentum

    HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — There were no major letdowns for Masters contenders Matt Kuchar and Jordan Spieth at the RBC Heritage on Thursday. Kuchar, who tied for fifth at Augusta National, shot a bogey-free 5-under 66 to share the ...

    April 18, 2014

  • Angel Jimenez set for Champions Tour debut

    DULUTH, Ga. — Miguel Angel Jimenez’s starring role in the best Masters ever for players 50 and over was the perfect lead-in for his Champions Tour debut....

    April 18, 2014

  • Puig focuses on baseball despite issues

    SAN FRANCISCO — Yasiel Puig believes he has the support from his Los Angeles Dodgers teammates and the club to help him keep his focus on baseball despite challenges off the field....

    April 18, 2014

  • Wainwright two-hits Nats

    WASHINGTON — Adam Wainwright threw a two-hitter Thursday night for his seventh career shutout, chipped in at the plate with a double and single, and St. Louis benefited from four errors by Washington in the Cardinals’ 8-0 victory....

    April 18, 2014

  • Rangers edge M’s

    ARLINGTON, Texas — When Kevin Kouzmanoff was riding the buses in Double-A two seasons ago, he kept his focus on returning to the majors and providing the kind of production that he is now delivering for the Texas Rangers....

    April 18, 2014