Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Southern Mississippi baseball teams were selected for one of the 20 potential regional hosts for the NCAA tournament. The NCAA will follow up and narrow that list to 16 sites on May 30. There will be 30 automatic conference champions along with 34 at-large teams selected. The entire 64-team tournament bracket will be announced on May 31.
Ole Miss (36-15, 16-11) won two of three games against No. 2 Vanderbilt (36-12, 17-9) and will visit Georgia (29-20, 12-15) beginning this Thursday. Mississippi State lost two games to Missouri (14-33, 7-20) this past weekend to fall two games behind Arkansas (39-10, 19-8) in the West. This Thursday, the Bulldogs (36-13, 17-10) head to Alabama (29-19, 12-14) to end regular season play. Southern Mississippi (35-17, 22-9) split a four-game series with Florida Atlantic and finished second in the C-USA West division – only a half game behind Louisiana Tech (36-14, 22-8). USM will be the third seed and will play Western Kentucky in the C-USA tournament on May 26, in Ruston, Louisiana.
Jackson State (31-8) and Alcorn (6-18) head to Madison, Alabama, for the SWAC tournament beginning on May 19. The SWAC tournament winner will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
Mississippi University for Women baseball team (20-9) is heading to DuBois, Pennsylvania, for the USCAA Small College World Series this week. The Laurel-based Southeastern College Chargers lost two games last week to Bob Jones and Dallas Christian in the National Christian College Athletic Association Independent Baseball Regionals in Springdale, Arkansas.
Delta State (27-16) takes off for Pensacola beginning on Tuesday to take on West Florida (32-8) in the best of three series for the Gulf South Conference championship. William Carey (34-10) will head to O’Fallon, Missouri, for NAIA tournament play. The Crusaders, the No. 2 seed, will play Benedictine-Mesa (AZ) on May 17.
The Mississippi JUCO baseball champion Pearl River (34-7) will host the Region 23 tournament May 17-21. Joining PRC will be LSU-Eunice, East Central, Itawamba, Hinds and Meridian.
Taylorsville’s Billy Hamilton banged out four hits for the Chicago White Sox in their win over Minnesota last Thursday. Former Mississippi State great Jake Mangum blasted his first two home runs of his professional career for the Brooklyn Cyclones last week.
Neshoba Central won its eighth consecutive MHSAA Class 5-A fast-pitch state softball championship while Hernando won its first Class 6-A title and Kosciusko took home the Class 4-A title. Myrtle, Lake and Booneville all won their first state championships in Classes 1-A, 2-A and 3-A, respectively.
Jones College, winner of 21 straight games, won the Region 23 Softball tournament as they downed Gulf Coast, 9-3. Jones (43-7) and Gulf Coast (33-14) will head to Oxford, Alabama, for the NJCAA Division II World Series beginning on May 25.
Alcorn (13-18) ended Jackson State’s (17-23) season and finished runner-up to Alabama State in SWAC softball tournament played in Gulfport. Mississippi State eliminated Ole Miss, 3-1, before falling to Florida in SEC tournament play in Tuscaloosa. Alabama downed Florida for the SEC title.
The Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame will host the C-Spire Outstanding Player Awards for the best college athletes on Monday, May 24. The winners of the Conerly Trophy for football, the Howell Trophy for men’s basketball, the Gillom Trophy for women’s basketball and the Ferris Trophy for baseball will be announced on that date.
For the second time Taylorsville quarterback Ty Keyes was named the Mississippi Gatorade Football Player of the Year. Coronado quarterback Sawyer Robertson, a 2021 Mississippi State signee, was named the Texas Gatorade Player of the Year. Louisiana’s Gatorade Award went to St. Thomas More (Lafayette) junior quarterback Walker Howard, an LSU quarterback commitment. He is the son of former LSU quarterback Jamie Howard, whose parents grew up in Laurel.
The Egg Bowl is back on Thanksgiving night for the next two years.
Dale is a Waynesboro resident who has been writing sports since 1973.