SEC rivals to meet in super regional

LSU gets Mississippi St.

LSU had to stay up Monday until the wee hours to learn its super regional opponent, then bright and early Tuesday found out there will be more late nights in the Tigers’ future.

Mississippi State won the Hattiesburg Regional by beating Southern Mississippi twice Monday, earning the Southeastern Conference rival a trip to Baton Rouge to face the Tigers (46-17) in the best-of-three series to advance to Omaha, Nebraska, for the College World Series.

That series won’t start until Saturday, with an 8 p.m. first pitch televised by ESPN2.

Sunday’s second game will also start at 8 p.m. and be televised by either ESPN2 or ESPNU.

If the teams split the first two games, the deciding Game 3 will be Monday at a time and on a network to be determined. The time could be noon, 3 p.m., 6 p.m. or 7:30 p.m.

Mississippi State (40-25), which was the last team to earn a trip to the super regionals, had to win four games in two days in coming back through the losers’ bracket after dropping it opening regional game. The Bulldogs clinched with an 8-6 comeback victory against Southern Miss in the regional final. The Bulldogs scored two runs in the top of the eighth tot take the lead and added an insurance run in the ninth.

The super regional field was unveiled Tuesday with four of the series playing Friday-Sunday and the other four Saturday-Monday.

The regional casualty list included three of the eight national seeds already gone, including No. 2 North Carolina, No. 5 Texas Tech and No. 8 Stanford.

North Carolina was ousted by Davidson, the lone No. 4 regional seed to advance.

Texas Tech was done in by Sam Houston State (44-21), which will be making the first appearance by a Southland Conference team in the super regionals when it travels to Florida State (43-21).

Cal Fullerton (37-21) ousted Stanford.

Sam Houston was one of two No. 3 seeds to get through, joined by Texas A&M (39-21) which beat the hosts in the Houston Regional.

Four No. 2 seeds made the super regionals — Fullerton, Missouri State (43-18), Mississippi State and Vanderbilt (36-23-1).

The SEC lost two of its eight tournament teams, with the conference tying its own record by sending to six teams to the super regionals — Florida (45-17), LSU, Kentucky (43-21), Mississippi State, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt.

The other two reached the regional finals before Arkansas lost at home to No. 2 seed Missouri State and Auburn lost at Florida State.