No. 14 Dogs to Test No. 6 Rebs Tuesday Night

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State (17-4, 4-2 SEC) makes the first of four visits to Smith-Wills Stadium in Jackson this season with Tuesday's matchup against instate SEC rival Mississippi (19-5, 4-2 SEC) in the 26th Entergy/Mayor's Trophy Game. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. and a sellout crowd of 5,500 to 6,000 is anticipated.

The 26th renewal will feature a battle of junior southpaws. The Bulldogs will send Brooks Dunn (3-0, 5.31) of Birmingham, Ala., to the hill opposite UM's Eric Fowler (1-1, 4.66).

Junior center fielder Joseph Hunter (.397) from Germantown, Tenn., paces the Bulldogs at the plate. He enters the week riding a career-best 17-game hitting streak, second-longest in the SEC. The league's longest active hitting streak is held by UM junior outfielder Brian Pettway (.452).

Mississippi State owns a 13-12 edge in the neutral site series that got its start in 1980. The Bulldogs will be looking to snap a three-game series winning streak by the Rebels. UM posted a 10-4 win in last year's game and have taken home the trophy after five of the last six games.

The Bulldogs climbed to No. 14 in the latest Collegiate Baseball newspaper rankings Monday after posting a 2-1 showing against fifth-ranked Arkansas last weekend in Fayetteville. The Diamond Dogs handed the defending SEC champion Razorbacks their first two home losses of the season and claimed their seventh series win in the last eight against Arkansas.

Mississippi, ranked as high as sixth (Baseball America) this week, becomes the third top 10-ranked and fourth top 20-ranked opponent faced by Mississippi State this season. State is 5-4 this season when playing ranked opponents.

Following the Mayor's Trophy Game, Mississippi State resumes league play on the road with a three-game weekend set at the University of Tennessee. MSU wraps up its nine-game road run with weeknight games against Samford (Apr. 5) and Birmingham-Southern (Apr. 6) in Jackson.

MSU IN THIS WEEK'S POLL
Collegiate Baseball - #14
Baseball Weekly/ESPN Coaches Poll - # 18
Baseball America - # 21


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