MSU Baseball Retain No. 1 Spot

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State maintained its lofty perch atop the Baseball America poll and climbed to No. 2 in Collegiate Baseball newspaper's rankings announced Monday.

The Bulldogs registered a series-clinching 7-6 win over Louisiana State at Alex Box Stadium Sunday afternoon to improve to 19-1 overall and 4-1 in Southeastern Conference play.

Senior shortstop Thomas Berkery provided the game-winning blow for the Bulldogs - a bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the 10th inning that propelled State to its second SEC series win in as many weeks and their first series win at Alex Box Stadium since 2000. Berkery (.403) enters this week's competition riding a 17-game hitting streak.

The series win at LSU helped the Bulldogs maintain their No. 1 position in Baseball America's weekly national rankings. Cal State Fullerton (20-7) and Georgia Tech (20-4) were second and third. MSU also climbed to No. 2 in the weekly rankings compiled by Tucson-based Collegiate Baseball newspaper. Florida State (25-2), with wins in 22 of its last 23 games, leads that poll.

The SEC is well-represented in this week's national rankings. Behind top-ranked MSU are No. 5 South Carolina (22-3), No. 13 Arkansas (20-5), No. 15 Florida (17-11), No. 16 Louisiana State (19-7), No. 20 Kentucky (20-5), No. 21 Tennessee (17-7) and No. 22 Georgia (17-5). Two other league teams not ranked in that poll appear in the Collegiate Baseball rankings - No. 16 Alabama (19-8) and No. 17 Vanderbilt (17-7).

Mississippi State reaches the midpoint of its 2006 home baseball schedule this week when the Bulldogs play host to Birmingham-Southern (13-8) in a pair of midweek contests. MSU and BSC meet Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. and close out their two-game set with a 4 p.m. game Wednesday. Junior righty Jon Crosby (2-0, 2.65) is due to open on the mound Tuesday for MSU opposite BSC sophomore lefty Blake Martin (2-1, 2.52).

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