Mississippi State Baseball To Face Alabama Wednesday
STARKVILLE, Miss. (MSU Athletics) – Fresh off their first SEC regular season Championship since 1989, No. 3 Mississippi State (40-14-1, 21-9 SEC) heads to Hoover, Ala. where they have earned the No. 1 overall seed in the SEC Baseball Tournament.
With the top seed, the Bulldogs earned a first-round bye and will play their first game Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. against No. 9 seed Alabama (32-24, 15-15 SEC). The Crimson Tide defeated No. 8 seed Kentucky by a score of 5-2 to advance to the second day of the tournament.
The Bulldogs took two of three from the Crimson Tide earlier this season in Tuscaloosa (12-5, 3-4, 2-1) at the newly-constructed Sewell-Thomas Stadium. Junior catcher Jack Kruger and junior 3B Gavin Collins led the way for the Maroon and White offensively, hitting .444 and .417 respectively against the Tide. Junior righty Blake Smith tossed 3 2/3 scoreless frames with four strikeouts in relief to pick up a save.
Mississippi State ended the regular season winning a program record nine of 10 conference series, and are currently riding a nine game winning streak in the league. The Crimson Tide lead the all-time series 213-190-4, and lead 7-3 in the SEC Tournament.
Junior righty Zac Houston (4-0, 2.25 ERA) will start on the mound against Alabama. Houston faced one batter against the Tide on April 30 in the Bulldog loss.
For more information on head coach John Cohen’s ballclub, follow the program on Twitter, like them on Facebook and join them on Instagram by searching for “HailStateBB.” You can also find all-access coverage of the program on SnapChat by searching for “HailStateSnap.”
Need To Know
· The Bulldogs won their 11th SEC Championship in program history and first since 1989 with a sweep of Arkansas last weekend.
· True freshman Jake Mangum became the first Bulldog to take home the coveted SEC Freshman of the Year award Monday.
· Head coach John Cohen was named SEC Coach of the Year for the second time in his career. He became the second coach in the history of the league to win the award at two different schools (MSU, Kentucky), joining former Bulldog skipper Ron Polk (MSU, Georgia).
· The Bulldogs had five players earn All-SEC awards: Jake Mangum (First Team), Nathaniel Lowe (First Team), Jack Kruger (First Team), Dakota Hudson (First Team), and Brent Rooker (Second Team). The Five honors tie for the most in program history and the four players on the first team are the most since 1984.
· In the latest rankings released Monday, MSU was voted 3rd in the Coaches Poll, 2nd by Baseball America, 1st by Collegiate Baseball, 1st by Perfect Game, 1st by the NCBWA and 3rd by D1 Baseball.
· As of May 24, Mississippi State’s offense ranks 16th in the country in doubles (120, 1st in SEC), 11th in hits (610, 1st in SEC), 27th in on-base percentage (.394, 1st in SEC), and 15th in batting average (.313, 2nd in SEC).
· The Bulldog’s pitching staff is 11th in the NCAA in strikeouts per nine innings (9.10, 5th in SEC)
· After hitting .243 with two outs in 2015, the Bulldogs are terrorizing opposing pitching with a .308 batting average (1st in SEC) with two down this season. The Bulldogs are the only team in the league hitting above .300 with two down.
Wednesday’s Forecast (May 24) – High 89, Low 65 – Mostly Sunny (0%)
Live Video and Television
The game will be broadcast on the SEC Network.
Live Audio and Radio
Tuesday’s game will be broadcast statewide on the Mississippi State Baseball Radio Network and also locally on WKBB 100.9 FM. The contest will also be audio streamed live online at HailState.com/Plus (requires subscription).
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