Diamond Dogs Test UAB to Open Homestand

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State battles the UAB Blazers Tuesday night to open a five-game week of baseball action Tuesday night at Dudy Noble Field. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m.

The Bulldogs (14-8, 2-4 SEC) knocked off top-ranked Louisiana State 7-3 last Friday to open a three-game series at Alex Box Stadium. LSU, which out-hit State 35-34 for the weekend, claimed the other two games 11-6 and 14-3.

The Blazers (14-9, 2-3 CUSA), meanwhile, split a Saturday doubleheader at Conference USA foe St. Louis (6-8, 6-5), with Sunday's series finale rained out before it could become official. UAB won its first seven games this season and is meeting its third SEC foe on the road. The Blazers dropped a 5-3 decision at Alabama Mar. 3 and fell at Auburn 13-6 last Tuesday night.

Junior left-hander Eric Ebers (2-1, 4.43) is scheduled to make his fourth career start for the Bulldogs while UAB's starter had not been announced.

Sophomore first baseman Brad Jones (.348) went 6-for-13 (.462) with four RBI and a career-first home run last weekend at LSU to take over the top spot among Bulldog batsmen. Jones continues to rate as one of only four SEC first basemen without a fielding error.

Bulldog co-captain Steve Gendron (.347) is right behind Jones and has been the club's steadiest performer at the plate thus far. Gendron has hit safely in a team-best 13 consecutive games, and leads the club with 33 hits and 11 extra-base hits. He totaled eight hits last week and climbed past former Mississippi State and current Major League great Rafael Palmeiro to seventh on State's all-time career hits list. Gendron now has 269 hits.

State closes out its 21-game March schedule Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. hosting Louisiana-Monroe. The Bulldogs went 12 innings with the ULM Indians two weeks ago in Jackson before registering a 7-3 win in the Entergy Louisiana Series.

Mississippi State closes out the week and a five-game homestand this weekend, entertaining instate SEC rival Mississippi in a three-game set. The Bulldogs-Rebels baseball battles begin Friday at 6:30 p.m.

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