Diamond Dogs Set 2009 Schedule

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Thirty-two games at Dudy Noble Field and a four-game series in Hawaii highlight a challenging 2009 Mississippi State University baseball schedule announced this week by first-year MSU head baseball coach John Cohen.

The Bulldogs usher in the Cohen era with a nine-game home stand, beginning with the BankFirst Baseball Challenge Feb. 20-22. State meets North Florida and Northern Illinois in the three-day, six-game season-opening event at Dudy Noble Field. State plays 17 of its first 21 games on the home field.

"Our 2009 schedule has plenty of challenges --- more than half of our games are against teams that played in the 2008 NCAA Tournament," said Cohen. "We're looking forward to opening our season at Dudy Noble Field with the BankFirst Baseball Challenge in February and we are deeply appreciative of BankFirst's sponsorship of the tournament."

The first road trip on the 2009 schedule is a four-game series at the University of Hawaii, MSU's fourth visit to Hawaii for baseball and the first since 1989. "The trip to Hawaii is exciting for our players and for our fans that will be making the trip to Honolulu," said Cohen. "It also presents special challenges as we return to Starkville to open our SEC schedule."

State plays 27 games against teams that played in the 2008 NCAA Tournament, including home SEC opponents Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana State, South Carolina and non-conference foe Southern Miss. MSU takes to the road to face '08 NCAA tourney entries Arkansas, Georgia, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt. MSU opens its 30-game SEC schedule Mar. 13-15 hosting South Carolina. The Bulldogs also entertain SEC Western Division rival Auburn Apr. 3-5 in a three-game Super Bulldog Weekend series.

The Bulldogs are scheduled to make one appearance on the SEC's game of the week television series and are the designated home team for a pair of games at Trustmark Park in Pearl, Miss. The May 9 State-Ole Miss game is set for broadcast regionally by FOX Sports Net South from Swayze Field in Oxford. State takes on Southern Miss Apr. 8 in Pearl and returns to the home of the Mississippi Braves Apr. 14 to meet Ole Miss in the third annual Governor's Cup. "We're looking forward to playing at Trustmark Park twice in the coming season," said Cohen. "It's an opportunity for us to play in front of our great fan base in the Jackson area."

Mississippi State hosts LSU May 14-16 in a Thursday-Friday-Saturday series to close out its 2009 regular season schedule. The 2009 SEC Baseball Tournament is scheduled May 20-24 in Regions Park in Hoover, Ala., with the NCAA Tournament's regional competition beginning May 28.


Feb. 20-22 - North Florida/Northern Illinois (BankFirst Baseball Challenge)
Feb. 24 - South Alabama
Feb. 25 - Mississippi Valley State
Feb. 27-28 - Nicholls State

Mar. 1 - Nicholls State
Mar. 5-8 - @ Hawaii
Mar. 11 - Valparaiso State (DH)
Mar. 13-15 - South Carolina
Mar. 17 - Southern Miss
Mar. 18 - UAB
Mar. 20-22 - @ Georgia
Mar. 24 - @ South Alabama
Mar. 25 - Memphis
Mar. 27-29 - @ Arkansas
Mar. 31 - Mississippi Valley State

Apr. 1 - @ Louisiana-Monroe
Apr. 3-5 - Auburn (Super Bulldog Weekend)
Apr. 7 - @ UAB
Apr. 8 - vs. Southern Miss (Pearl, Miss.)
Apr. 10-12 - @ Tennessee
Apr. 14 - vs. Mississippi (Governor's Cup @ Trustmark Park, Pearl, Miss.)
Apr. 17-19 - Kentucky
Apr. 21-22 - Middle Tennessee State
Apr. 24-26 - @ Vanderbilt

May 1-3 - Alabama
May 8-10 - @ Ole Miss (RSN-TV 5/9/09)
May 12 - @ Memphis (AutoZone Park)
May 14-16 - Louisiana State

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