"We're looking forward to taking on another challenging baseball schedule in the coming season," said MSU head coach Ron Polk. "In addition to our five conference opponents, we have some outstanding non-conference teams coming in to Dudy Noble Field. We're especially proud of our partnership with Cadence Bank that enables us to bring Arizona to Starkville in March for the three-game Cadence Bank Classic series."
State's midweek non-conference home opponents include Birmingham-Southern, coached by former MSU assistant Brian Shoop, Jacksonville State, coached by former MSU assistant Jim Case, Louisiana-Monroe, Louisiana Tech, Mississippi Valley State, Tennessee-Martin and UAB.
The 56-game schedule features 33 games against 11 teams that made the 64-team field of the 2005 NCAA Baseball Tournament. Among them are two SEC foes - Florida and Tennessee, that advanced to the NCAA College World Series.
Mississippi State is scheduled to make one appearance on the SEC-TV Game of the Week series in 2006, meeting Alabama in an April 1 matchup at Sewell-Thomas Stadium in Tuscaloosa.
The 2006 Bulldogs also play two neutral site games in the Jackson, Miss., metro area. MSU is the designated visiting team for an Apr. 5 game against Louisiana-Monroe at Trustmark Park in Pearl, Miss. State returns to Jackson the following week to meet Mississippi in the 27th annual Mayor's Trophy Game April 11 at Smith-Wills Stadium.
The Bulldogs conclude their regular season schedule May 18-20 with a three-game home series against Mississippi. That series, like all others that weekend in the Southeastern Conference, will run Thursday through Saturday.
MSU returns all but one starting position player and 11 pitchers from the 2005 team that captured the Southeastern Conference Tournament Championship and advanced to MSU's ninth NCAA regional tournament berth in the last 10 years.