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Jun. 22—Mississippi State has been in this situation before, but head coach Chris Lemonis is looking for a different result for his baseball team.

No. 7-seed Mississippi State will play unseeded Virginia today at 6 p.m. at Omaha’s TD Ameritrade Park in the winner’s bracket of the College World Series.

The game will be on ESPN2.

The Bulldogs (46-16) are in familiar territory. In each of their last two CWS appearances, in 2018 and 2019, the Bulldogs have won the opening game of the tournament. In 2018, MSU won the second game before dropping the next two.

In 2019, MSU lost two straight after the opener and was eliminated. With those results in the back of his mind, Lemonis hopes his team isn’t satisfied yet.

“We didn’t come here just to win one game or two games,” Lemonis said. “It is to play through this tournament and win this tournament.’ We hope to get back to a focused mindset today. Not a long practice, but get to work and prepare for Virginia. I’m challenging myself to keep baseball at the forefront of everything and stay locked in.”

Virginia (36-25) was one of only two teams to make the trip to Omaha after not earning a No. 1 seed in the tournament. N.C. State is the other.

The Cavaliers were a No. 3 seed that haave flexed its muscles in both the regionals and super regional.

Virginia, however, didn’t stop there. The Cavaliers upset No. 3 seed Tennessee, 6-0, on Sunday to earn a spot in the winner’s bracket. It hasn’t been all sunshine for Virginia this year. It had a losing record going into the last week of April, but has won 18 of its last 25 games.

During that span, Virginia has found some power hitting and it has continued into the postseason. Virginia has hit 14 home runs in nine postseason games this year, including one in the win over Tennessee.

“They’re very talented, don’t let the early season record fool you,” Lemonis said. “Everybody I have talked to said it’s some of the better arms in the country. You’re going to face real power arms. And they’ve gotten hot and started hitting the home runs in the postseason. That has propelled them a little bit.”

Virginia hasn’t announced a starter yet, but all signs point towards right-handers Mike Vasil (7-5, 4.82 ERA) or Griff McGarry (0-5, 6.06).

Mississippi State announced on Monday afternoon that left-hander Christian MacLeod (6-5, 4.24) will start. MacLeod has allowed 15 runs in his last 14 2/3 innings and four earned runs or more in each of his last three outings.