College World Series: Mississippi State 5, Oregon State 4 -- The Bulldogs Take Care of the Most Important Thing

USA TODAY Sports

The Bulldogs finally took a lead that stuck on Saturday and put themselves in prime position to stay in Omaha for a while

This is going to seem more obvious than it perhaps is, but it's something we've stressed on this site before and is worth reiterating now that the NCAA baseball tournament has moved to Omaha: The easiest way to win the College World Series is to never end up in the losers' bracket.

Again, that sounds preposterously self-evident: If you never get into the losers' bracket, you never lose a game, and therefore win the series. But it's more complicated than that. In a double elimination tournament, any team that gets into the losers' bracket is intentionally put into a situation where it has to battle back through multiple games and burn through pitching at such a rate that when it does face the team that has cruised through the winners' bracket, it's very difficult to knock that team off. Not impossible, but very difficult.

So Wes Rea's two-run double in the top of the eighth against Oregon State on Saturday, which finally gave Mississippi State a lead that would stick in what had been a seesaw game, was an incredibly important hit in the scheme of the Bulldogs' season. It took them from facing the most difficult way to win the tournament to now facing a relatively easy one. If they can keep winning.

And if Mississippi State continues to win, it can help the Bulldogs as much or perhaps more than most other teams in the tournament. Because State leans so heavily on its bullpen to get wins -- Ross Mitchell picked up another one Saturday with 2.2 scoreless innings and is now 13-0 without having started a game this season -- the Bulldogs can use an extra couple of days of rest. Their side of the bracket takes Sunday off, then gets back on the field Monday, If State wins then, they don't have to play again until Friday.

Winning for Mississippi State will indeed breed more winning. And with each win, the road gets that much easier.

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