That’s the slogan for the 2013 College World Series. You see it everywhere, on the side of the stadium, on billboards, even on our media credential, catchy and in the case of Mississippi State so apropos.
It seems this Bulldogs team makes history happen every time they step on the field. This year’s Mississippi State team is just the second out of the nine Bulldogs teams to reach Omaha, to win its first two College World Series games.
The only other team to do it was in 1985 and anchored by legendary Bulldogs Will Clark, Rafael Palmeiro, Bobby Thigpen and Jeff Brantley.
The 2013 team of Hunter Renfroe, Adam Frazier, Ross Mitchell and Jonathan Holder have a great chance to do what that team, and no other Bulldogs team ever did, and that’s win the national championship.
It’s already become just the fourth team in program history to post 50 wins. The last to do it also reached the College World Series…back in 1990 when a senior named John Cohen played in the outfield. Of course he’s now the head coach.
This is also the first Bulldogs team to record 10 wins in one post-season. This is a tourney-tested, tough team. Since the 2011 NCAA Atlanta Regional that we televised on CSS, the Bulldogs have gone 20-7 in post-season play. Mississippi State just knows how to win. They’ve figured it out.
Both of their CWS wins in the past week have come on big 8th-inning hits. Wes Rea delivered a two-run double last Saturday to lift the Bulldogs over Oregon State 5-4 and then two days later it was Trey Porter coming through with a two-run hit in the 5-4 win over Indiana.
Wes Rea says the story of the season has been the bullpen. No argument here. The Bulldogs bullpen is a combined 33-5 with 23 saves. Mississippi State “pitches backward.” That means the starter will pitch the first three, maybe four innings and then the bullpen takes over. The relievers actually pitch more than the starters. It’s a tag-team effort. It works.
I remember talking to Coach Cohen back in March, asking him if he thought his team could get to the College World Series. Said Cohen, “I feel we can make a run to Omaha. It all starts on the mound. Every year there’s as many as 6-7 SEC teams that could make a run. Winning post-season tournaments give you that expectation that you can do it and we’ve done that two years in a row.”
How prophetic. Now the Bulldogs are on the threshold of making History Happen Here.