Arkansas - MSU Baseball Game Preview

Mississippi State and Arkansas face off in an SEC Baseball Tournament elimination game Thursday morning at 9:30 am.

Weather - The temperatures should be in the mid 70s during the game, and there is a 30% chance for isolated thunder strongs during the first two hours of the game, then it increases to 40% the last hour. Winds should be from the southwest at 13 to 14 miles per hour.

Starting Pitchers - Arkansas will start sophomore RHP D.J. Baxendale (8-2, 1.62 ERA) while Mississippi State will start junior LHP Nick Routt (2-2, 3.83 ERA).

Arkansas - Baxendale has been very good this season. After giving up 5 runs (all earned) in 4.2 innings against Auburn in his first SEC start of the season, Baxendale has given up no more than 2 earned runs in any of his other seven SEC starts. He seems to have been at his best in his last four outings when he gave up 6 earned runs in 30.1 innings. He did not face Mississippi State this season due to a minor injury. He did face them once last season in a relief role (2.1 IP, 2 ER).

Mississippi State - Routt has been up and down for the Bulldogs this season. In his last two outings he gave up 4 earned runs (8 total runs) in 8 innings. His previous three outings he pitched well, giving up 3 earned runs (7 total runs) in 13.2 innings. He did face Arkansas earlier in the season and gave up 6 runs (all earned) in 3 innings.

Who's Hot and Who's Not in the Last 5 Games - Arkansas is led at the plate by junior Collin Kuhn who is hitting .467 (7-for-15, 6 RBI), followed by junior Tim Carver who is hitting .357 (5-for-14, 2 RBI).

Others include sophomore Matt Reynolds who comes in at .273 (3-for-11, 0 RBI), junior James McCann is hitting .267 (4-for-15, 3 RBI), junior Bo Bigham is at .222 (4-for-18, 1 RBI), freshman Dominic Ficociello is hitting .176 (3-for-17, 1 RBI), senior Kyle Robinson comes in at .154 (2-for-13, 5 RBI) and junior Jarrod McKinney is hitting .000 (0-for-11, 0 RBI). In limited action freshman Franco Broyles is hitting .333 (2-for-6, 0 RBI) as is sophomore Matt Vinson (2-for-6, 0 RBI).

Mississippi State - Leading MSU at the plate is freshman C.T. Bradford who is hitting .333 (6-for-18, 1 RBI). In part-time duty, freshman Adam Frazier is also hitting .333 (1-for-3, 1 RBI). Both were recently named to the SEC All-Freshmen team.

Others include senior Cody Freeman is hitting .278 (5-for-18, 1 RBI), senior Wes Thigpen is .267 (4-for-15, 2 RBI), senior Jaron Shepherd .263 (5-for-19, 3 RBI), senior Nick Vickerson is .250 (4-for-16, 7 RBI), senior Trey Johnson is hitting .250 (3-for-12, 0 RBI), junior Brent Brownlee comes in at .231 (3-for-13, 1 RBI), senior Jarrod Parks is hitting .200 (3-for-15, 3 RBI), senior Jonathan Ogden comes in at .189 (3-for-16, 0 RBI), and senior Ryan Collins is hitting .158 (3-for-19, 1 RBI).

How Arkansas and MSU Match Up
Arkansas Category Mississippi State
36-19 Record 34-22
.269 Batting Average .283
291 (5.3 pg) Runs 349 (6.2 pg)
36 Home Runs 28
.349 OB % .386
111-136 Stolen Bases-Attempts 83-111
185 (3.0 pg) Walks 247 (4.5 pg)
389 (7.1 pg) Strikeouts 375 (6.7 pg)
400 (7.3 pg) LOB 492 (8.8 pg)
3.24 Team ERA 4.36
17 Saves 15
177 (3.2 pg) Walks 200 (3.6 pg)
402 (7.3 pg) Strikeouts 439 (7.5 pg)
.243 Batting Average Against .268
.967 Fielding % .973

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the website, the source for Mississippi State sports on the sports network. You can contact him by emailing

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