MSU and Florida Begin 3-Game SEC Series Friday

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State tangles with its sixth ranked opponent of the year this weekend when the Bulldogs (21-12, 5-7 SEC) play host to No. 19 Florida (26-10, 6-6 SEC) to kick off MSU's annual spring homecoming, Super Bulldog Weekend, at Dudy Noble Field.

First pitch for Friday's opening contest of the three-game SEC series is set for 6:30 p.m.

The Bulldogs have won four of their last six games, including their first conference series win last weekend at the University of Kentucky. Sophomore right fielder Brad Corley, a native of Louisville, Ky., hit .478 with six home runs in the week - with five blasts during the UK series. Monday he was accorded player of the week honors by the Southeastern Conference, Collegiate Baseball newspaper, and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.

MSU is 5-8 against ranked opponents this season, with wins over No. 1 LSU, No. 4 Mississippi, No. 11 Southern Miss and No. 19 Tennessee.

State is shuffling its pitching lineup this weekend, with junior right-hander Alan Johnson (1-1, 6.32) drawing his first career Friday night start for the Bulldogs. Florida, coached by former MSU assistant and head baseball coach Pat McMahon, will start junior righty Tommy Boss (2-1, 6.44).

The Gators have held the upper hand in the series overall (41-33) and in recent years. Florida has won nine of the last 10 games in the series, with a 6-5 Saturday win by State last year breaking up the Gator streak.

Mississippi State's two newest head coaches also put their teams on display during the weekend.

First-year Bulldog volleyball head coach Tina Seals puts her 2004 squad to the test Saturday against Samford and North Alabama in a spring exhibition tournament at the Newell-Grissom Building. The double round-robin matches begin at 9 a.m. and are open to the public with no charge for admission.

First-year head football coach Sylvester Croom then puts the 2004 football Bulldogs on display in a controlled Maroon-White scrimmage at Saturday at 6 p.m. at Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field. General admission tickets, priced at $5 each, will be sold Saturday evening at the football stadium ticket office.

Saturday's MSU-Florida game will be televised live regionally on FOX Sports Net South as the SEC-TV Game of the Week. MSU will formally dedicate the new scoreboard/message center/Jumbotron prior to the 3:06 p.m. start Saturday. The series concludes Sunday at 1:30 p.m.

Below is a picture of now finished scoreboard/videoboard.

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