Junior southpaw Paul Maholm (1-1, 0.69) is MSU's designated starting pitcher, while the Bisons are expected to counter with senior right-hander Logan Good (1-1, 5.59). Maholm, making his third start of the campaign and his 32nd in 34 career appearances, blanked East Tennessee State with six innings of five-hit pitching last Friday. The Holly Springs, Miss., product owns a 19-9 career pitching record with 186 strikeouts and a 3.77 ERA over three seasons.
MSU played its first midweek game, night game, road game and ranked opponent all in one fell swoop Tuesday in Birmingham, registering a 14-5 win over No. 27 (Collegiate Baseball) UAB. Matthew Brinson and Craig Tatum laced season-first solo home runs and Thomas Berkery delivered a three-run blast to power MSU's season-high 14-run explosion.
Wednesday's home battle with Louisiana Tech was shortened to six innings and ended in the team's first tie of the year and the second in two seasons. State fell behind 5-0 after three frames but battled back. Steve Gendron knotted the score with a clutch two-run double during MSU's three-run burst in the sixth inning, but rain halted MSU's comeback attempt and ended play in the top of the seventh inning with the score deadlocked at 5-5.
MSU opened the third week of the season riding a modest five-game win streak and with its highest national ranking of the year. A three-game home sweep of East Tennessee State (7-0, 10-1, 11-4) boosted the Bulldogs to No. 9 (NCBWA writers' poll), No. 10 (Collegiate Baseball), No. 13 (Sports Weekly/ESPN) and No. 15 (Baseball America).
Senior shortstop Matthew Maniscalco begins the weekend series carrying the hot bat for the Bulldogs through the first eight games. The Alabama native is hitting at a .433 clip and is riding a team-best eight game hitting streak. Manny has had multiple hits in four of the eight games, has driven in at least one run in six of the eight games and ranks second on the team with nine runs scored and five walks.
In Tuesday night's win at UAB, Maniscalco ripped his eighth career triple, tying Del Unser (1964-66), Russ Aldrich (1977-78) and Dan Van Cleve (1981-85) for seventh place among MSU's career leaders. He has started 191 consecutive games for the Bulldogs, all at shortstop, where in 2001 he set a school record for fielding percentage by a shortstop (.967).
Scouts from area Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops will receive free admission to Sunday's 1:30 p.m. MSU-Lipscomb game as part of annual Scout Day activities at Dudy Noble Field.
BULLDOGS VS. BISONS