Setting up the Series: Miss. State

Ole Miss heads to Starkville to open SEC play against Mississippi State. The Bulldogs enter 7-7, while the Rebels are 11-4.

No. 5 Ole Miss (11-4) at Miss. State (7-7)

Game Times

Friday - 3 p.m.

Saturday - 6 p.m.

Sunday - 1:30 p.m.

Radio and Video Access

All three games can be heard state-wide on the Ole Miss Radio Network. The weekend set is also available for viewing courtesy of OleMissSports.tv. David Kellum will handle the play-by-play with Gary Darby providing color. Sunday's game will be televised by CSS

Last Time Out

The Rebels have lost four of their last six and are coming off a two-game split with Western Kentucky during midweek competition. Texas Christian took two-of-three from Ole Miss in Fort Worth, Texas last weekend. On Wednesday, Brett Bukvich allowed four hits, all home runs, as the Hilltoppers bested Ole Miss 8-5. Mississippi State regained some momentum with a two-game sweep of Miss. Valley State on Tuesday and Wednesday. That followed getting swept by nationally ranked Baylor during the Cadence Bank Classic in Starkville last weekend. The Bulldogs blanked the Delta Devils 15-0 Tuesday and completed the series with a 11-5 win.

Series Info

Mississippi State leads the overall series 224-192-5, but Ole Miss has won 13 of the last 18 contests. Mike Bianco and Ron Polk are 16-16 against one another. Last season, the Rebels beat the Bulldogs three out of five times with two victories in the weekend series and a triumph during the first round of the SEC Tournament. Mississippi State salvaged the Sunday game in Oxford and took the Governor's Cup at Trustmark Park. It was the first time in six seasons that State won the neutral site event. This will be the first time since 1989 that the two teams have opened league play with each other.

Scouting MSU

The early season has been rough to the Bulldogs with a series loss at North Florida and a sweep at the hands of Baylor. An erratic pitching staff is haunting Mississippi State, and the unit will again be shuffled this weekend. Also, injuries have been detrimental. Closer Aaron Weatherford, usual weekend starter Chad Crosswhite and infielder Brandon Turner are all out this weekend due to being banged up. State is having trouble finding the strike zone, so working pitch counts could be the key to the weekend for the Rebels. Not only for free passes but also to run up pitch counts and possibly take advantage of MSU's suspect bullpen. John Lalor has assumed the closer role for the Bulldogs.

Probable Pitchers

Friday-Lance Lynn RHP 6-5, 260 JR. (3-0, 1.69)

Forrest Moore LHP 6-1, 191 FR. (1-1, 6.57)

Saturday - Cody Satterwhite RHP 6-4, 205 JR. (2-0, 3.00)

Justin Pigott LHP 5-11, 186 SR (2-1, 3.29)

Sunday - Nathan Baker LHP 6-3, 205 SO. (1-1, 4.11)

Ricky Bowen RHP 6-3, 197 FR. (1-2, 10.20)

Around the SEC

Alabama at Kentucky

Georgia at Arkansas

Auburn at Florida

LSU at Tennessee

South Carolina at Vanderbilt

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