SPRINGFIELD, Mo–What a difference a month makes.

When Missouri State baseball started May, it was trying to snap a losing streak.

On this second to last day of May, the Bears were invited to the NCAA tournament.

For Keith Guttin’s Missouri State Bears, the road to Omaha and the College World Series will run through Stillwater.

“the Cowboys will face the Missouri State Bears out of the Missouri Valley. Making their 12 tournament apperance. And their first in four years.”

The 30-27 Bears will open the NCAA tournament Friday night against the seventh overall seed Oklahoma State.

“That’s why you play. As a team, that’s the reason you play to get into the tournament. We’ll figure out. We have to figure out who will be on the mound at this point,” said Bears coach Keith Guttin.

It’ll be a return trip to O’Brate Stadium.

Way back on March eighth, the Bears played at Oklahoma State and lost to the Cowboys 5-1.

Other teams in the Stillwater regional are Grand Canyon and Arkansas.

Missouri State beat the Razorbacks in Fayetteville on May third.

The Bears don’t care who they play, just that they’re in the NCAA’s.

“We know when we’re playing our best baseball we can hang with anybody. And we have confidence on everybody on this team. It’s a great feeling to know that we made it. And we’re all really excited to be going,” said Bears first baseman Mason Greer.

“That’s why you come to Missouri State, to play in the postseason. And go to a Regional. We knew we could do it,” said Bears second baseman Mason Hull.

This Missouri State team found new life over the week-long Valley tournament at Hammons Field.

They found their offense.

The bashing Bears cranked out 20 home runs in six games and outscored its opponents 59-to-26.

“It’s pretty special. It’s the type of thing you dream of growing up as a kid. It’s pretty incredible,” said Bears shortstop Walker Jenkins.

The Bears also found their pitching.

Forrest Barnes pitched a complete game in Missouri State’s first win over Southern Illinois.

That saved the rotation in the tournament.

And Adam Link pitched in three of the six games, including getting a win in the championship game.

“It was awesome. We were on fire. We knew we had the team to do it. I love the guys, love the team. It was just a matter of putting it all together,” said Bears pitcher Adam Link.

Missouri State won its fifth Valley championship and secured it’s 12th invitation to the NCAA tournament.

Not bad for a Bears team that suffered an eight game losing streak in April.

Guttin:”They’re pretty even keeled. They’ve been around. They’ve been through it. They understand that basically this was our one shot. And they did it.”