MSU Hosts UAB Today at 4 p.m.

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State closes out its nine-game season-opening homestand with a pair of midweek games at Dudy Noble Field, beginning with Tuesday's 4 p.m. matchup with the UAB Blazers.

Freshman left-hander Tyler Whitney (1-0, 1.80) of Lakeland, Tenn., is due to draw starting mound duties for the Bulldogs. The Blazers (4-7) will open with junior righty Brandon Wallace (0-2, 5.65).

The MSU-UAB game begins a series of "reunion games" for Mississippi State. Five of MSU's next eight opponents are skippered by former Mississippi State assistant coaches --- UAB (Brian Shoop), Jacksonville State (Jim Case), Winthrop (Joe Hudak), Baylor (Steve Smith) and Florida (Pat McMahon). Three other Ron Polk protégés serve as assistant coaches on those staffs (Steve Johnigan and Mitch Thompson at Baylor and Tim Parenton at Florida). "They're all outstanding coaches and I'm looking forward to seeing them on the field again," said Polk. Three other MSU opponents in 2007 are coached by former Polk associates --- Georgia (Dave Perno), Kentucky (John Cohen) and Memphis (Daron Schoenrock).

State closes out its season-longest homestand Wednesday with a 4 p.m. meeting with Jacksonville State (4-6), then embarks on a season-longest 11-day, eight-game road trip that sees the Bulldogs play in Waco, Arlington and Dallas, Texas, and in Gainesville, Fla.

MSU swept a pair of weekend games from Troy University (2-1, 12-4) and dropped a Saturday decision to Michigan (4-3) in the seventh Cadence Bank Classic.

Junior catcher Edward Easley (.556), junior first baseman Mitch Moreland (.407) and senior second baseman Jeffrey Rea (.385) extended their season-opening hitting streaks to all seven games during the Classic. Rea's Sunday hit was the 261st of his career and tied him with 2006 SEC batting champion Thomas Berkery for 11th place on MSU's all-time career hits list. The Bulldog co-captain needs three more hits to tie Brad Freeman (1995-98) for 10th place.

Mississippi State opens the week with an SEC-leading .391 team batting average.


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