I wasn't totally surprised Michigan State made the NCAA baseball tournament for the first time since 1979. The Spartans went 3-4 in their last 7 games and 5-5 in their last 10-- but they also haven't been in the tournament in 33 years and somehow I think that played into their favor.
It's not the main reason they are in the 64-team field of course, but I do think it is a contributing factor. After all MSU won the Big Ten title last year and didn't make it because the Spartans didn't get the automatic bid from losing out in the league tournament. This year MSU finished 5th and did make it-- and the Spartans made it without playing great down the stretch.
They get no easy stretch in California this week end. The other three teams are from that state and MSU travels three time zones. And Stanford is loaded and playing at home. It's a double elimination tournament. MSU can't leave as many runners on base as it did in Columbus last week. These teams are better than those they faced in the Big Ten tourney and they went 2-2. But they are in the field, so they feel good and that's a step forward.
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