No. 16 MSU to Face UL-Monroe

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- No. 16 Mississippi State (30-12-1) steps away from Southeastern Conference competition and closes out its April schedule Wednesday, hosting the University of Louisiana-Monroe Indians (22-19) in a 6:30 p.m. game at Dudy Noble Field.

It's the 25th baseball meeting between the Bulldogs and the Indians in a series that dates back to 1958 and the first of four home games this week against teams from neighboring Louisiana. The Diamond Dogs, who play 10 of their final 13 regular season games at home, open a key three-game weekend series Friday against the SEC-leading and fifth-ranked LSU Tigers (30-13-1, 15-5-1 SEC).

Junior right-hander Jeff Lacher (5-0, 4.23) is set to make his 30th career appearance and his 12th career start for Mississippi State, while the Indians (22-19), scheduled to host Arkansas-Little Rock Tuesday night, have not declared a starting pitcher.

In last year's Feb. 27 meeting in Monroe, La., junior right-hander Chris Young made his first career start and went the distance and Matthew Brinson belted his first home run of the season as the Bulldogs topped the Indians 6-5 at Indian Field. The win was MSU's ninth in its last 10 meetings with UL-Monroe.

Brinson (.331, 7 HR, 34 RBI) enters the week riding a career-longest 11-game hitting streak. Senior shortstop Matthew Maniscalco (.354), who has started all 226 career games at shortstop, sports the team's top batting average and leads the club with 64 hits, a .547 slugging percentage and 15 stolen bases.

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