The Norman Transcript

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
  • Drivers visit Indiana National Guard before race at Brickyard

    EDINBURGH, Ind. — Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Graham Rahal are used to occasional fireworks when drivers get upset at the track....

    July 25, 2014

  • Nibali wins Stage 18, builds overall lead

    ARGELES-GAZOST, France — As his team hoped, Vincenzo Nibali demonstrated he’s the “boss” of the Tour de France. Just don’t compare him to the last rider to regularly bear that sobriquet at cycling’s greatest race, Lance Armstrong....

    July 25, 2014

  • Sooners use momentum from Sugar Bowl in preparation for 2015 season

    The Associated Press NORMAN, Okla. — Oklahoma got a lot of attention with its upset victory over Alabama in the Sugar Bowl....

    July 25, 2014

  • Yankees edge Texas for sixth victory in seven games

    NEW YORK — Brandon McCarthy and Chase Headley are quickly putting their stamp on a playoff surge for the New York Yankees....

    July 25, 2014

  • Smoke turns corner at Indy

    INDIANAPOLIS — Drivers always say there’s something magical about Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and the opportunity for NASCAR to race there opened the door for one of Jeff Gordon’s most treasured victories. It was a race Tony Stewart ...

    July 24, 2014

  • Former great addressed during annual shareholders meeting in G.B.

    GREEN BAY, Wis. — Flush with cash, the Packers have a 112,000 name-long waiting list for season tickets filled with die-hards eager to see a team that figures to be an NFC contender for years to come....

    July 24, 2014

  • Roma tops Liverpool

    BOSTON — Marco Borriello scored in the 90th minute to give Roma a 1-0 victory over Liverpool in a preseason friendly Wednesday night at Fenway Park. There were limited chances until Borriello volleyed in a corner from in front of goal....

    July 24, 2014

  • Marcus Mariota helps Oregon’s PAC-12 title chance in preseason polls

    LOS ANGELES — Although Marcus Mariota knew he would be under a spotlight when he stepped onto the famed Paramount Studios lot Wednesday, the Oregon quarterback is getting quite comfortable in his starring role....

    July 24, 2014

  • Potential buyer group scouts Toronto area

    BUFFALO, N.Y. — A Buffalo Bills prospective ownership group that includes rocker Jon Bon Jovi has conducted a feasibility study into buying the NFL franchise and building a stadium in Toronto, a person close to the situation said....

    July 24, 2014

  • Majka wins 16th stage, Nibali leads

    PLA D’ADET, France — On the last of four Pyrenees ascents, Rafal Majka winked at a French TV camera and tugged playfully at a motorcycle’s antenna....

    July 24, 2014