State opened its 2002 campaign Feb. 22 with a 4-2 win over the Blazers in the second annual NBC Classic at Dudy Noble Field. The Bulldogs later registered an 8-3 win over UAB Apr. 23 in Starkville.
Sophomore outfielder/third baseman Steve Gendron leads the Bulldogs with a .351 batting average. But the team's hottest hitter entering the week is junior shortstop Matthew Maniscalco (.297), who went 9-for-15 in last weekend's three-game series at SEC-leading Alabama. The Oxford, Ala., product recorded a career-best and team season-best 5-for-5 plate performance in the Saturday MSU-UA game.
Mississippi State returns to action at Dudy Noble Field Friday at 6:30 p.m., playing host to instate SEC rival Mississippi. The three-game series wraps up the regular season schedules for both clubs, currently in a down-to-the-wire battle for one of three remaining berths in next week's SEC Tournament in Hoover, Ala.