MSU Baseball vs UCSB and Arizona

Included is a preview of the two teams that Mississippi State will be facing in the Hi Corbett Classic in Tuscon, Arizona this weekend, UC Santa Barbara and Arizona.

Gametimes (Times listed are central time, Home team listed second)

Game 1 (3 p.m.): UC Santa Barbara vs. Mississippi State
Game 2 (8 p.m.): Mississippi State vs. Arizona

Game 3 (3 p.m.): Mississippi State vs. UC Santa Barbara
Game 4 (8 p.m.): UC Santa Barbara vs. Arizona

Game 5 (2 p.m.): Arizona vs. UC Santa Barbara
Game 6 (7 p.m.): Arizona vs. Mississippi State

Arizona has a 6-7 record this year while UC Santa Barbara is 7-1.


UC Santa Barbara - As a team, UCSB has a 2.54 ERA. Teams are hitting .229 against them. They have struck out 63 in 71 innings while walking 28.

Four pitchers have started games this season - sophomore LHP Justin Jacome (2 starts, 1-0 record, 1.38 ERA), freshman RHP Shane Bieber (2 starts, 1-0 record, 1.50 ERA), sophomore LHP Domenic Mazza (1 start, 0-0 record, 4.15 ERA) and sophomore RHP Dylan Hecht (3 starts, 2-0 record, 4.38 ERA).

UCSB is expected to throw Jacome and Bieber against MSU their first two games of the tournament, then Mazza against Arizona. They have not announced their fourth starter, who will pitch against Arizona in their Sunday game.

Jacome was 5-4 with a 3.89 ERA last season. He ended his season on a great note, allowing 2 or less runs in his final four starts, including 2 runs in 6.1 innings against then No. 3 Oregon State at the Corvallis Regional. This season, in his two starts, he has continued where he left off in 2013, allowing just 2 runs on 11 hits and 3 walks while striking out 11 in 13 innings of work. His two starts were against San Jose State and Princeton.

Bieber, no relation to Justin Bieber that I know of, has performed well this season, allowing just 3 runs (2 earned) on 12 hits and 2 walks while striking out 8 in 12 innings of work in his two starts. Like Jacome he has faced San Jose State and Princeton.

Mazza, as a freshman last season was 1-0 with a 3.78 ERA in 18 appearances (1 start). This season he has started one game, against UCLA. In that game he threw 5.2 innings, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks while striking out 3.

Hecht, who was UCSB's closer last season (0-2 record, 9 saves, 1.83 ERA), has started 3 games this season, allowing 9 runs (6 earned) on 11 hits and 9 walks while striking out 15 in 12.1 innings.

Arizona - Arizona, as a team, has a 4.65 ERA. Teams are hitting .262 against them. They have struck out 106 while walking 39 in 122 innings. They have not recorded a save this season.

They have five pitchers who have started a game this season - redshirt sophomore RHP Cody Hamlin (4 starts, 2-1 record, 1.57 ERA), senior RHP James Farris (3 starts, 2-1 record, 2.08 ERA), junior LHP Tyler Crawford (4 starts, 1-2 record, 7.58 ERA), junior RHP Mathew Troupe (1 start, 0-0 record, 14.73 ERA) and freshman RHP Morgan Earman (1 start, 1-1 record, 4.26 ERA).

Arizona is expected to throw Farris their first game, which will be against MSU. Hamlin will face UC Santa Barbara, then Crawford will face UC Santa Barbara in their third game of the tournament. Arizona has not announced their starter for their fourth game, which will be against MSU.

Hamlin has given up no more than 1 run in each of his outings. He has thrown 7, 9, 4 and 3 innings in the four appearances, his last appearance was Tuesday (March 4th) against Long Beach State. He only threw 3 innings in that game. He's only allowed 14 hits and walked 4 batters while striking out 14 in this 23 innings. Teams are hitting .182 against him.

Farris has been somewhat up and down this season during his three starts. He has given up 7 runs (6 earned) in his three starts but 6 of the runs were scored in one game, against Seton Hall, when he threw 6.1 innings. In his other two starts he threw 16.2 innings, allowing just 1 run on 11 hits and 2 walks with 19 Ks. Although he didn't start against Long Beach State Tuesday night, he threw behind Hamlin the starter, Hamlin, and gave up 0 runs on 0 hits and 0 walks while striking out 2 in 3 innings of work.

Crawford, in his four starts, has given up 13 runs in 15.2 innings. His worst outing was his first when he gave up 7 runs in 0.1 inning. During his last three outings, he has given up 6 runs 15.1 innings. His last start was Wednesday against Long Beach State. He gave up 3 runs on 6 hits and 1 walk in 3.1 innings of work. Although teams are hitting .303 against him, he rarely walks a batter. In his 19 total innings of work he has only walked 2 batters. I expect him to face US Santa Barbara.

Troupe, who has started one game for Arizona this year and was their closer the past two seasons, is out for the remainder of the season due to recent Tommy John surgery.

Earman, who was drafted in the 21st round of the 2013 MLB Draft by the New York Mets, has started one game this season, allowing 3 runs on 2 hits and 2 walks in 1 inning of work. His appearance was against Seton Hall. Despite the numbers in his only start, in his five total appearances, teams are only hitting .143 against him.

Unless Arizona decides to use someone else, it looks like Earman will start against MSU in the final game of the tournament.


UC Santa Barbara - UCSB is hitting a robust .341 as a team this season. They have hit 5 home runs and scored 67 runs in their 8 games (8.4 runs per game). They have six starters who are hitting .300 or above - Joey Epperson (.500), Andrew Calica (.400), Robby Nesovic (.400), Jackson Morrow (.389), Peter Maris (.333) and Woody Woodard (.300). UCSB likes to steal bases and they are successful at it, stealing 21 in 24 attempts. In their 8 games, they have only struck out 30 times while walking 32 and being hit by 24 pitches. They have only grounded into 2 double plays.

Arizona - Arizona is currently hitting .316 as a team with 2 home runs and 83 runs scored in 13 games (6.4 runs per game). They have four regulars who are hitting above .300 - Scott Kingery (.426), Zach Gibbons (.420), Cody Ramer (.388) and Trent Gilbert (.340). They have stolen 30 bases in 41 attempts. They've only struck out 55 times while walking 53 in the 13 games.

While they are hitting well as a team for the entire season, during their last 5 games (all losses. 3 against Seton Hall and 2 against Long Beach State) they have hit .232 as a team and scored 11 runs (2.2 runs per game).


UC Santa Barbara - In their 8 games they have fielded at a .970 clip and recorded 7 double plays. Teams have stolen 4 bases in 5 attempts this season.

Arizona - Arizona's fielding percentage is .979. They have turned 11 double plays in their 13 games. Teams have stolen 18 bases in 27 attempts this season.

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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