The 2011 Baseball Bulldogs launch formal preseason team practice Friday with a mid-afternoon scrimmage at Dudy Noble Field. MSU hosts first-time opponent Akron February 18 to open its 121st season of baseball and John Cohen's third campaign as State's head baseball coach. All preseason practices at Dudy Noble Field are open to the public.
MSU returns 15 lettermen, including nine of the 14 position players that drew starts last spring and nine of the 14 pitchers that took the hill for State in 2010.
The Bulldogs meet Akron and Lamar in a six-game, double round-robin baseball weekend Feb. 18-20 to begin a run of 14 consecutive home games. MSU's 15-game home schedule includes three-game series against SEC West rivals Alabama, Auburn and LSU and 2010 College World Series participants Florida and South Carolina, the 2010 NCAA champion.
Season tickets, available through the MSU Athletic Ticket Office (662-325-2600) and online (www.MStateAthletics.com/tickets) are valid for admission to all 35 Mississippi State home games and four early-season tournament games at Dudy Noble Field not involving Mississippi State. Season tickets in the chairback section cost $200 ($160 MSU faculty and staff) while general admission season tickets are $180 ($144 MSU faculty and staff).
FIRST PITCH/MEET THE TEAM CELEBRATION FEB. 12
Tickets ($15 adults/$10 youth) sales continue through the MSU Ticket Office for the 14th annual "First Pitch/Meet the Team Baseball Celebration", set Saturday, February 12 in the Griffis Boardroom/Palmeiro Center.
Former Bulldog and current Texas Ranger first baseman Mitch Moreland from Amory, Miss., is the guest speaker at this year's event, which begins at 4 p.m. and includes an introduction of the 2011 Mississippi State University baseball team along with events associated with the team's on-going "Do It For Duffy" fund-raising campaign in support of injured former Mississippi State player Ryan Duffy.
Proceeds from "First Pitch" ticket sales and a special silent auction held at the event will be donated to the "Do It For Duffy" campaign. A senior on MSU's 2010 baseball team and a teammate of Moreland on State's 2007 College World Series team, Duffy sustained a broken neck during a swimming accident in Florida last summer. He is undergoing rehabilitation while recovering at his home in Malabar, Fla. Information regarding additional fan-sponsored fund-raising events scheduled that weekend, including a 5K "Do It For Duffy" Run, is available online at DoItForDuffy.org.