FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Ninth-ranked Mississippi State (14-3-1, 2-1) continues its season-longest five-game road run this weekend in Fayetteville, Ark., opening a three-game series Friday at 6:30 p.m. against the red-hot Razorbacks (18-2, 2-1). Arkansas is the first top 25-ranmked opponent for MSU this year, and is ranked as high as 16th in this week's NCBWA writers poll.
Both teams enter the SEC Western Division series having won eight of their last 10 games. MSU split a pair of midweek games at Memphis, winning 12-3 and bowing 8-7 in 10 innings, while Arkansas registered lopsided wins over Centenary and Louisiana Tech in a Wednesday twinbill in Shreveport, La.
Mississippi State will send junior left-hander Paul Maholm (2-1, 1.50) to the hill as the starter in Friday's game, which will be broadcast on a local basis on WFCA-FM (107.9) in French Camp, Miss., WJDX (AM 620) in Jackson, Miss., and on the internet (www.sports.yaho.com).
The two schools have met 50 times since the rivalry got started in 1960, with MSU holding a 29-21 series lead. State has won four of the last five meetings, including a 2-1 showing in last year's three-game set in Starkville.
The series continues Saturday at 2 p.m. and closes out Sunday at 1 p.m.