Diamond Dogs to face Tennessee Tech this weekend

STARKVILLE, Miss. - The 24th-ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs (5-0) continue their season-longest 12-game baseball homestand this weekend, entertaining Tennessee Tech (0-2) of the Ohio Valley Conference in a two-game weekend series at Dudy Noble Field. The Bulldogs and the Golden Eagles square off at 2 p.m. Saturday and close out their two-game set with a 1:30 p.m. contest Sunday.

Sophomore right-hander Jamie Gant (1-0, 0.00), who earned a win in his first collegiate start in MSU's season-opening 12-0 shutout of Western Kentucky, will draw the start against Tennessee Tech. With the opening day win, Gant, named to the all-tournament teams in both the 2003 SEC Tournament and the 2003 NCAA Starkville Regional, has now registered a save and four wins in his last five career outings. He enters the weekend sporting a 7-1 career pitching record with a save and a 1.06 earned run average.

Tennessee Tech, which had a three-game season-opening home series against Ohio University snowed out last weekend in Cookeville, Tenn., has yet to declare a Saturday starting pitcher. Among possible weekend starters is senior right-hander and West Point, Miss., native Collins Hughes, who started his collegiate career at Mississippi State.

A pair of Diamond Dog starters ‹ sophomore right fielder/pitcher Brad Corley (.476) and senior shortstop Steve Gendron (.381), have hit safely in all five games. Corley shares the team RBI lead (11 RBI) with freshman designated hitter Brian LaNinfa (.462), who has hit a home run in four of MSU's five games. Corley has hit two of the team's first 10 roundtrippers.

Mississippi State enters the weekend hitting at a .389 clip, second-highest in the SEC, and sporting a 2.00 staff earned run average.

The Golden Eagles are paced at the plate by junior shortstop Brandon Selvog (.500), who leads the club with four hits and three RBI.

Due to a direct conflict with the broadcast of the Mississippi State-Alabama basketball game in Tuscaloosa, Ala., the broadcast of Saturday's MSU-TTU baseball game will be available via internet only (www.sports.yahoo.com/ncaabb/audio). Sunday's 1:30 p.m. Mississippi State-Tennessee Tech game returns to the airwaves on the flagship station of Mississippi State athletics, WFCA-FM in French Camp, Miss., and marks the first of 40 radio broadcasts on the statewide MSU Baseball Radio Network.

Following the weekend series with Tennessee Tech, Mississippi State hosts South Alabama Mar. 9-10 before closing out the season-opening homestand Mar. 12-14 against national power Southern California in the fourth annual National Bank of Commerce Classic.

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