MSU-Missouri Baseball Series Preview

No. 22 ranked Mississippi State and Missouri face off in a three-game Southeastern Conference series this weekend at Missouri.

Weather - Friday the temperatures should be in the low 60s to high 50s during the game. There is 0% chance of rain, | Saturday the temperatures should be in the mid 70s during the game. The chance for rain is 10%. | Sunday the temperatures should be in the mid 70s with a 10% chance of rain.

Gametimes (CT) - Friday 6 pm | Saturday 2 pm | Sunday 1 pm

Coaches - Tim Jamieson is entering his 20th year at Missouri. During his career at MO, he has an overall record of 622-474-2. Missouri has only been in the SEC for one year prior to this year and had a 10-20 SEC record. Of his 19 Missouri teams, 9 have advanced to NCAA Regionals with one advancing to a Super Regional. He has a 12-19 NCAA postseason record.

John Cohen, who is entering his sixth season as the head coach at Mississippi State, has an overall record of 177-131 and a 61-88 record in SEC play. His 2011, 2012 and 2013 teams appeared in regionals with his 2011 team advancing to a Super Regional and his 2013 team advancing to the College World Series where they were national runner-up. His teams overall NCAA postseason record is 13-7.

Missouri Home/Mississippi State Road Records - Missouri is 9-5 at home while Mississippi State is 4-7 on the road.

Expected Pitching Rotations - Missouri is expected to start junior RHP Brett Graves (3-2, 2.67 ERA) Friday, junior RHP John Miles (2-4, 5.25 ERA) Saturday and senior RHP Eric Anderson (2-2, 3.15 ERA) Sunday.

Graves has been somewhat effective in SEC action this season. In his five starts he has given up 16 runs (15 earned) on 40 hits and 7 walks while striking out 25 in 33 innings. His SEC ERA is 4.09.

Miles has been similar to Graves this season in SEC play. In his 5 SEC starts he has given up 17 runs (15 earned) on 33 hits and 11 walks to go along with his 19 Ks in 29.1 innings. His SEC ERA is 4.60.

Anderson has been the most effective starter in SEC action this season. He has started 4 games in the SEC, giving up 9 runs (all earned) in 27.1 innings for an ERA of 2.96. He has allowed 26 hits and 4 walks while striking out 34.

Mississippi State is expected to start junior RHP Trevor Fitts (2-2, 3.29 ERA) Friday night, junior LHP Ross Mitchell (5-3, 2.15 ERA) Saturday and TBA Sunday. My guess is either senior RHP Ben Bracewell (2-3, 2.80 ERA) or junior RHP Brandon Woodruff (1-2, 5.81 ERA) will pitch Sunday.

Fitts has pitched ok in SEC play this season. While he hasn't been a guy who will throw a lot of innings, 3 to 4+ a game, he has been effective while he's been in the game, giving up 6 runs in 20.1 innings of work in SEC play in his 5 starts, a 2.66 ERA.

Mitchell has pitched outstanding in SEC play other than last weekend's outing against Ole Miss when he gave up 6 runs in 8.2 innings. In his other 4 SEC starts he had only given up 5 runs in 31.1 innings for an ERA of 1.44. The bad performance against Ole Miss moved his SEC ERA to 2.48.

Bracewell has started two SEC games and been ineffective in both, giving up 5 runs (4 earned) in 4.2 innings for an SEC ERA of 7.71.

Woodruff started the season as MSU'S Friday starter but struggled in that role, allowing 11 earned runs on 16 hits and 14 walks while striking out 13 in 13.1 innings for an ERA of 7.43. When the SEC part of the season started he was moved to the bullpen. He's appeared in relief five times (3 SEC, 2 non-conference) since then and had done outstanding until last weekend when he gave up 6 earned runs in 2.1 innings.

Relief Pitching - Missouri will likely use five relievers - junior RHP Keaton Steele (0-5, 9 Saves, 3.03 ERA), sophomore LHP Austin Tribby (1-0, 0 S, 2.81 ERA), sophomore RHP Breckin Williams (2-1, 2 S, 1.42 ERA), junior RHP Andrew Schwaab (0-0, 0 S, 7.71 ERA) and sophomore RHP Alec Rash (0-0, 0 S, 0.00 ERA).

Steele is Missouri's closer in close games. He's appeared in 8 SEC games, allowing 10 runs (9 earned) on 17 hits and 4 walks while striking out 14 in 17.1 innings. His SEC ERA is 4.67.

Tribby is more of a middle relief guy. He's appeared in 8 SEC games, allowing 5 runs (3 earned) on 4 hits and 2 walks to go along with his 4 Ks in 5 innings of work. His SEC ERA is 5.40.

Williams started the SEC off as a matchup reliever, using coming in to get an out. Since then, he's more of a middle reliever who can come in and pitch an inning. He's appeared in 6 SEC games and has allowed 1 run on 7 hits and 1 walk while striking out 2 in 4.1 innings of work for an ERA of 2.08.

Schwaab has been a middle reliever in SEC action and has been hit hard in that role, allowing 7 runs (6 earned) on 7 hits and 2 walks while striking out 2 in 4.2 innings. His ERA in SEC action is 11.56.

Rash has been Missouri's closer in games that have gotten out of hand. And he's been very effective in that role in SEC games, allowing 0 runs on 3 hits and 3 walks while striking out 4 in 6.2 innings of work.

Mississippi State will likely use four guys in relief roles - junior RHP Jonathan Holder (3-1, 4 Saves, 3.74 ERA), junior LHP Jacob Lindgren (3-0, 2 S, 1.35 ERA), sophomore RHP Myles Gentry (0-0, 2 S, 4.24 ERA), junior LHP Lucas Laster (0-0, 0 S, 4.75 ERA) and either Bracewell or Woodruff.

Holder has been MSU's closer but hasn't been as effective in the SEC this season as he has been in the past. In 7.1 innings he has given up 5 runs on 13 hits and 1 walk while striking out 12 for an ERA of 6.14.

Lindgren, on the other hand, has been very effective in his SEC role, giving up just 1 earned run (3 runs total) on 7 hits and 4 walks while striking out 22 in 14.0 innings for a 0.64 ERA.

Gentry, a middle reliever, has been up and down in the SEC. His SEC stats include an ERA of 5.68 while allowing 11 hits and 3 walks in 6.1 innings of work. He did have a good series against Ole Miss last weekend, allowing no runs on 3 hits and 0 walks while striking out 2 in 2.1 innings of work.

Laster has been appearing in more SEC games of late. After not appearing in the first three SEC series, he's appeared in 2 games in the last 2 series. In those games he allowed 4 runs (2 earned) on 8 hits and 0 walks while striking out 6 in 4.2 innings for an ERA of 3.85.

Who's Hot at the Plate and Who's Not in the Last 5 Games - Leading the way for Missouri is senior Dylan Kelly at .421 (8-of-19, 2 RBI), followed by freshman Jake Ring at .412 (7-of-17, 5 RBI). Up next is senior Eric Anderson who comes in hitting .364 (8-of-22, 6 RBI). Not far behind him is another senior, Dillon Everett, who is hitting at a .350 clip (7-for-20, 4 RBI). Next is junior Logan Pearson who is hitting .294 (5-of-17, 2 RBI), then freshman Ryan Howard at .250 (4-of-16, 2 RBI) and sophomore Josh Lester at .200 (4-of-20, 2 RBI). Senior Shane Segovia comes in at .190 (4-of-21, 1 RBI) and senior Kendall Keeton at .176 (3-of-17, 0 RBI). In limited action junior Brett Peel is hitting .400 (2-of-5, 0 RBI).

Mississippi State is led at the plate by senior Brett Pirtle who is hitting .529 (9-of-17, 2 RBI), followed by another senior, Derrick Armstrong, who is hitting an even .500 (9-of-18, 1 RBI). Batting an even .400 is junior Matthew Britton (4-of-10, 0 RBI). Hitting .333 (6-of-18, 3 RBI) is freshman Gavin Collins. Not far behind him is senior Alex Detz at .316 (6-of-19, 5 RBI). Hitting just below .300, at .286 (6-of-21, 4 RBI) is junior Seth Heck. Hitting .214 (3-of-14, 0 RBI) is junior Jake Vickerson. Coming in at .190 (4-of-21, 3 RBI) is junior Wes Rea. Hitting .150 (3-of-20, 1 RBI) is senior C.T. Bradford. In part-time duty, freshman Reid Humphreys is hitting .250 (2-of-8, 2 RBI).

How Missouri and MSU Match Up
Missouri Category Mississippi State
17-18 Record 23-15
.263 Batting Average .271
145 (4.1 pg) Runs 193 (5.1 pg)
7 Home Runs 6
.349 OB % .375
29-46 Stolen Bases-Attempts 54-70
132 (3.8 pg) Walks 178 (4.7 pg)
234 (6.7 pg) Strikeouts 219 (5.7 pg)
296 (8.5 pg) LOB 325 (8.6 pg)
3.89 Team ERA 3.37
11 Saves 10
79 (2.3 pg) Walks 124 (3.3 pg)
245 (7.0 pg) Strikeouts 313 (8.2 pg)
.273 Batting Average Against .258
.969 Fielding % .982

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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