Omaha, Nebraska. (WLBT) - Mississippi State University enters the College Baseball World Series with some unfinished business. Last year, the Diamond Dawgs made it to the semifinal round where they lost to the World Series Champions.
This year, third baseman Jordan Westburg says they are all business in their preparation leading up to their match up against the Auburn Tigers.
“This year is more like this is what we’re supposed to do, we deserve to be here, we expected to be here. So the appreciation factor, I think, might not be as much as last year. It’s more of, like, we’re here to do business and win a championship," said Westburg.
The Bulldogs have played Auburn three times this season, winning two of those games. They go up against a former Mississippi State assistant in Butch Thompson. Coach Lemonis says Auburn is a team who has gotten through adversity to Omaha.
“They’ve been a work in progress, and they’ve had some ups and downs because of some injuries. And you’re seeing a team that’s really fought through it and just kind of like us a little bit in the past. I just think it’s a real tough team right now and their playing good baseball," said Lemonis.
Ethan Small will be on the mound for the Diamond Dawgs in their first game. He currently has over 100 strikeouts this season. Coach Lemonis didn’t hold back when talking about how good the redshirt junior has been for MSU, and how different settings has not affected his game.
“We could pitch him on Mars - I think he’d be fine. But it does help he’s pitched here and he’s been around it and everything else, but we haven’t pitched in an environment that’s bothered him. I think he’ll be really good tomorrow," said Lemonis.