There had to be a kind of deja vu in Starkville tonight. After all, it was less than three months ago that Mississippi State hosted Central Arkansas and saw the Bears lose the first one, then take the next two. And that very situation, with the exception of a Mississippi State win against South Alabama and UCA fighting through the losers' bracket, was about to unfold again -- this time with a bid to the NCAA super regionals on the line.
But after losing the second tournament game against Central Arkansas, Mississippi State was in no mood for a sequel. The Bulldogs took an early lead and kept adding on a run or two at a time until the Bears found themselves staring at a 6-0 deficit as they moved into the ninth. The one run they got in that frame really didn't matter.
The challenge for Mississippi State now is go to Charlottesville and try to take two out of three from Virginia. But the promise is that the Bulldogs are scalding hot right now, having won nine of their last 12 games. This time Mississippi State will be the underdog, but they will have fewer bad memories to contend with.