Your Home Your story reservation Nate Dohm is back for Mississippi State baseball. Can he manage NCAA Tournament expectations?

Nate Dohm is back for Mississippi State baseball. Can he manage NCAA Tournament expectations?


STARKVILLE — Nate Dohm’s decision to have Eminem as the featured artist for his walk-up song was likely based more on the short, blonde hair the two share.

But the lyrics of the rapper’s hit, “Without Me,” provided a fitting soundtrack for Dohm’s return to the mound as Mississippi State baseball (34-18, 15-12 SEC) faced North Alabama (17 -33-1, 9-17- 1 ASUN) at Dudy Noble Field.

Guess who’s back, back again?

As those lyrics blared through the speakers Tuesday, shortly after Dohm became the last Bulldog to emerge from the dugout and cross the foul line, he stepped onto the mound for his first action since a 12-pitch outing against Georgia on April 7.

In his return, Dohm delivered two perfect innings to open an 8-4 win for Mississippi State.

“It’s really great to have him back,” said catcher Joe Powell, who had three home runs in the game. ‘He looked very good. He’s had his ups and downs, but he’s a tough guy.”

Dohm threw just 22 pitches to get through his two scheduled innings against the Lions.

As part of his rehab process, Dohm threw a pair of scrimmages leading up to Tuesday. In the first, he pitched one inning and got knocked around. Chris Lemonis noticed Dohm was upset about the outing. That was promising for the coach.

“You knew he was competitive again,” Lemonis said. “He wasn’t worried about his arm. He was afraid he would be hit. That was a big sign for us.”

“He didn’t go down and stayed down,” Powell added. “He went down and got back up – keeps bouncing back. He’s been really good. We all saw the Nate Dohm we know and love.”

Last week he faced two innings of batters.

“The goal is to have him back for the postseason and work through everything,” Lemonis said. “We’re pretty close. I thought he was pretty good tonight.”

His return comes at the right time for the Bulldogs. Mississippi State opens a series with Missouri on Thursday (6 p.m., SEC Network+), marking the final three-game set of the regular season.

After the series ends, MSU has a quick turnaround from the usual week between conference games. Mississippi State will likely open SEC tournament play on Tuesday in Hoover, Alabama, potentially leaving too little rest for starters Khal Stephen or Jurrangelo Cijntje to pitch.

Dohm’s return could give Lemonis another option. Prior to his first injury on March 8 — which sidelined him until his brief return against Georgia — Dohm was Mississippi State’s top starter.

Does he have enough time to get back into shape for the postseason? That’s the big question for the state of Mississippi.

“He’s just going to build volume every time,” Lemonis said. ‘Will he get an outing next week? Will he get one next (week)? I think he’s trying to come in and help us anyway he can. I can’t do too much scripting right now. It’s such a difficult time of year to write a script.”

HOT CORNER: A look at Logan Kohler’s rise with Bobby Witt Jr.’s Mississippi State baseball

Stefan Krajisnik is the Mississippi State beat writer for the Clarion Ledger. Contact him at [email protected] or follow him on the X platform, formerly known as Twitter, @skrajisnik3.

This article originally appeared on Mississippi Clarion Ledger: Mississippi State baseball’s hopes for Nate Dohm in the NCAA Tournament