Woes peak for Mississippi State baseball, Chris Lemonis vs. Vanderbilt

Woes peak for Mississippi State baseball, Chris Lemonis vs. Vanderbilt

The tribulations of Mississippi State baseball reached a zenith this season, with head coach Chris Lemonis failing to lead the Bulldogs past Vanderbilt in the SEC tournament.

The Bulldogs entered the matchup with a lot of promise, having finished the regular season with a 32-21 record, good for fifth in the SEC. But their postseason ambitions were thwarted by the Commodores, who emerged victorious in the one-game playoff.

The loss marked a disappointing conclusion for Lemonis in his first year at the helm of the Bulldogs. Despite inheriting a talented roster, Lemonis was unable to guide Mississippi State to the NCAA tournament. The team’s collapse down the stretch was especially painful, as they had won nine of their last 12 games before the Vanderbilt loss.

The Bulldogs had a number of opportunities to punch their ticket to the NCAA tournament, but they squandered them with costly errors and inefficient offense. Lemonis had no answer for the struggles of his offense, which averaged just 4.3 runs per contest.

The Bulldogs’ failure to make the NCAA tournament was especially disheartening, as they had been picked to finish as high as second in the SEC West in the preseason. Lemonis had high hopes for the season, but his team failed to take the necessary steps to reach their goals.

The heartbreaking defeat to Vanderbilt also ended the collegiate career of Mississippi State’s most decorated player, Rowdy Jordan. The slugger had been a leader for the Bulldogs all season, but his final game ended in frustration, as he went 0-4 with no RBIs.

Lemonis and the Bulldogs will have to regroup and move on from the disappointment of the SEC tournament. With a talented roster returning next season, Mississippi State could yet make a run at the NCAA tournament. But they will have to take a hard look at the mistakes they made this year if they hope to reach their goals.