Mississippi State Preview

Included is a preview of the Mississippi State University baseball team. Mississippi State is playing in a three-team tournament (Arizona, Samford, Mississippi State) at Mississippi State this weekend.


Weather:
Friday - Partly cloudy with a high of 38. A 0% chance of rain. Winds 5 to 10 mph from the north-northeast
Saturday - Mostly sunny skies with a high of 50. A 0% chance of rain. Winds 5 to 10 mph from the east
Sunday - A high of 58. 70% chance of rain. Winds 5 to 10 mph from the southeast.

Gametimes (CT):
Friday 12 p.m. Samford vs. Arizona | 4 p.m. Mississippi State vs. Arizona (SEC Network+)
Saturday 11 a.m. Arizona vs. Mississippi State (SEC Network) | 35 Minutes Following Conclusion Of Game One Samford vs. Mississippi State (SEC Network+)
Sunday 1 p.m. Arizona vs. Samford | 4:30 p.m. Samford vs. Mississippi State

Arizona/Samford Road Record/Mississippi State Home Record - Arizona is 0-0 on the road | Samford is 0-1 on the road | MSU is 9-0 at home.

Pitching Rotation:

Redshirt junior RHP Preston Brown (2-0, 2.45 ERA), senior LHP Lucas Laster (1-0, 2.16 ERA), sophomore RHP Austin Sexton (1-0, 2.25 ERA) and sophomore LHP Vance Tatum (1-0, 0.84 ERA) will start this weekend, likely in that order.

Brown, who was 4-3 with an ERA of 3.06 coming into this season, has started 2 games, allowing 4 runs (3 earned) on 13 hits and 3 walks while striking out 15 in 11 innings.

Laster, a junior college transfer last season, was 0-1 with a 2.60 last year. This year he has started 2 games and has allowed 2 runs (both earned) on 6 hits and 4 walks while striking out 5 in 8.1 innings.

Sexton, who was 2-0 with a 5.16 ERA last season as a true freshman, has started 2 games this year and has allowed 2 earned runs on 4 hits and 2 walks while striking out 10 in 8 innings of work. Teams are hitting just .154 against Sexton.

Tatum, who was 2-0 with an ERA of 4.87 his freshman season, has appeared in 2 games this year, 1 as a starter and the other as a reliever. In 10.2 innings of work he has allowed 1 run on 3 hits and 3 walks while recording 13 Ks. Teams are only hitting .091 against him.

Relief Pitching:

MSU will primarily use six pitchers in relief - redshirt senior LHP Ross Mitchell (2-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 Save), senior RHP Trevor Fitts (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 3 S), redshirt freshman RHP Levi Mintz (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0 S), sophomore RHP Dakota Hudson (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0 S), sophomore LHP Daniel Brown (1-0, 1.50 ERA, 0 S) and sophomore RHP Zac Houston (0.0, 3.38 ERA, 0 S).

Mitchell is MSU's long reliever. He has appeared in 4 games this season, allowing 0 runs on 7 hits and 1 walk while striking out 5 in 11 innings of work. He will usually be the first reliever in if a starter is taken out early.

Fitts has been moved to MSU's closer after being a starter for most of his career. And he has thrived in that role this season. In 3 appearances he has 3 saves. He has struck out 4 in 5 innings while giving up 0 runs on 2 hits and 3 walks.

Mintz is a middle reliever. In 2 outings he has thrown 3 innings, allowing 0 runs on 1 hit and 2 walks to go along with his 3 Ks.

The hard-throwing Hudson has been used in middle relief this season. In 2 outings he has thrown 2 innings, allowing 0 runs on 2 hits and 0 walks while recording 3 strikeouts.

Brown, another middle reliever, has appeared in 3 games, allowing 1 run on 5 hits and 1 walk while recording 10 Ks in 6 innings of work.

Houston has been used in middle and late relief. In his 4 outings he has given up 2 runs (both earned) on 4 hits and 5 walks while recording 7 strikeouts in 5.1 innings.

Hitting:

MSU has four batters hitting above the .400 mark - freshman Ryan Gridley (.591, 13-of-22, 1 HR, 10 RBI), redshirt sophomore Jacob Robson (.536, 15-of-28, 0 HR, 3 RBI, 6 SB), senior Seth Heck (.533, 16-of-30, 0 HR, 5 RBI) and senior Jake Vickerson (.467, 7-of-15, 1 HR, 6 RBI).

Hitting at or above .300 are redshirt sophomore Cody Brown (.333, 6-of-18, 0 HR, 5 RBI), redshirt freshman Brent Rooker (.316, 6-of-19, 2 HR, 9 RBI) and senior Wes Rea (.300, 3-of-10, 1 HR, 7 RBI).

Hitters batting less than .300 are junior Matt Spruill (.267, 0 HR, 4 RBI), sophomore Reid Humphreys (.265, 1 HR, 6 RBI), junior Josh Lovelady (.250, 0 HR, 5 RBI), senior Cody Walker (.222, 0 HR, 0 RBI), junior John Holland (.214, 0 HR, 7 RBI), sophomore Luke Reynolds (.158, 0 HR, 4 RBI) and senior Matthew Britton (.077, 0 HR, 3 RBI).

Arizona, Samford and MSU Stats
Category Arizona Samford Mississippi State
Record 8-2 3-4 9-0
Batting Average .346 .285 .336
Runs 86 (8.6 pg) 41 (5.9 pg) 91 (10.1 pg)
Home Runs 5 12 6
OB % .408 .347 .480
Stolen Bases-Attempts 15-24 6-7 16-20
Walks 36 (3.6 pg) 16 (2.3 pg) 69 (7.7 pg)
Strikeouts 55 (5.5 pg) 46 (6.6 pg) 48 (5.3 pg)
LOB 75 (7.5 pg) 47 (6.7 pg) 83 (9.2 pg)
Team ERA 3.16 6.39 2.78
Saves 3 2 4
Walks 17 (1.7 pg) 27 (3.9 pg) 35 (3.9 pg)
Strikeouts 69 (6.9 pg) 62 (8.9 pg) 87 (9.6 pg)
Batting Average Against .241 .291 .208
Fielding % .975 .965


Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on the Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.


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