Bulldogs Face Rebels Friday at Dudy Noble

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State takes on its second consecutive top 10-ranked SEC baseball opponent this weekend when the Bulldogs (16-8, 2-4 SEC) play host to the fourth-ranked Mississippi Rebels (22-3, 5-1 SEC). The series begins at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Dudy Noble Field.

MSU knocked off top-ranked Louisiana State 7-3 in Baton Rouge, La., last Friday night and notched non-conference wins over UAB (6-5) and Louisiana-Monroe (8-4) in midweek home contests.

Sophomore right-hander Jamie Gant (3-2, 3.00) draws the start for the Bulldogs in Friday's series-opener. The Rebels, who took two of three at Alabama last weekend and swept Southeastern Louisiana in the midweek, will open with sophomore righty Mark Holliman (4-0, 3.03).

Saturday's starters are expected to be Alan Johnson (0-1, 5.48) for MSU versus sophomore Brae Wright (5-0, 1.43), while Sunday's starters are expected to be senior Jeff Lacher (2-3, 5.33) vs. Ole Miss sophomore right-hander Stephen Head (3-0, 3.21)

Friday's series-opener marks the debut of the new scoreboard/message center at Dudy Noble Field. The stadium addition, made possible by the Henry Mize Foundation of Tupelo, Miss., and installed over the past two weeks, includes a 15-by-22-foot video screen.

Mississippi State owns a 226-173-5 all-time series lead over Mississippi, sweeping the last two series in winning eight of the last nine meetings. The Bulldogs claimed all three wins in the 2003 series at Oxford (2-0, 7-0, 8-4), dropped a 5-1 decision in the Mayor's Trophy Game in Jackson, and then added a pair of wins over UM in the SEC Tournament (5-4, 4-1).

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