Mississippi State's Ethan Small (Kelly Donoho/Mississippi State Athletics)


Starkville: Mississippi State In Total Command


STARKVILLE, Miss. – Call it: Star Wars, The Bulldogs Strike Back.

Entering Saturday night, the third-seeded Central Michigan Chippewas were leading the nation in two categories: active win streak – a school record 19 games – and having fun, including wearing Santa and Yoda masks in the dugout.

However, the top-seeded Mississippi State Bulldogs found a way to stop the streak and apparently minimize the power of one of those masks, and you can credit assistant coach Jake Gautreau’s family for finding the antidote.

“Coach Gautreau’s son, who sits right behind our dugout, came to the game wearing a Darth Vader mask,” Bulldogs coach Chris Lemonis said. “I asked him why, and he said: ‘Because they have Yoda.’”

Clearly, The Force was with the Bulldogs on Saturday as they defeated the Chippewas 7-2, advancing to the finals of the Starkville regional. Central Michigan (47-13) will play the Miami Hurricanes (40-19) on Saturday afternoon. The loser of that game is eliminated, and the winner would have to beat Mississippi State (48-13) Sunday night and Monday to advance to the super regionals.

Second-seeded Miami, which got upset by Central Michigan 6-5 on Friday night, eliminated Southern 12-2 on Saturday afternoon.

With just three teams left in this regional, here are six takeaways from Starkville:

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