Diamond Dogs Trek To Tuscaloosa For Key Weekend Series With Alabama
The radio broadcast of all three games will be carried on the statewide MSU Baseball Radio Network and offered online as a subscription-based audio streaming (www.HailState.com/hstvlive).
Sewell-Thomas Stadium ticket windows and gates open two hours prior to scheduled weekend game times, with general admission tickets available for adults ($8) and youth ($4).
With Friday and Sunday wins against instate league foe Ole Miss last weekend, State captured its third consecutive SEC home series. The Bulldogs closed their April schedule with wins in seven of their last eight games, climbing into a three-way tie for third place in the SEC Western Division and a game out of second place. With nine league games remaining, State is in the thick of a tight race for a berth in the expanded 10-team field of the SEC Baseball Tournament scheduled May 22-27 in Hoover, Ala.
State junior right-hander Chris Stratton (8-0, 2.39), with nine-inning pitching performances in his last two outings, will make his eighth start of the campaign in Friday's series-opener. The Tupelo, Miss., product picked up his second SEC Pitcher of the Week award for 2012 Monday following a complete-game, five-hit shutout of hot-hitting Ole Miss last weekend. A day later he was named to the midseason watch list for USA Baseball's Golden Spikes Award. Alabama will count with freshman righty Spencer Turnbull (2-3, 4.54). The rookie from Madison, Miss., earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors this week after no-hitting two-time defending NCAA champ South Carolina for seven innings last week before a lightning storm halted the game and ended his seventh start of the year in a scoreless game.
Junior righty Kendall Graveman (3-3, 3.04) will be matched with Crimson Tide freshman southpaw Jon Keller (1-4, 4.37) in Saturday's game while the pitching matchups for Sunday's series finale have yet to be set.
Sophomore shortstop Adam Frazier (.343) leads the Bulldogs at the plate with 58 hits, 34 runs scored and an SEC-leading 37 walks. The Bishop, Ga., product has had a hand in 36 of Mississippi State's league-leading 52 double plays and has hit safely in 36 of 44 games. Junior infielder Sam Frost from Hoover, Ala., one of nine rostered Bulldogs from neighboring Alabama, is the only State position player that played in the 2010 MSU-Alabama series. MSU does return five of the 10 pitchers that took the mound in that series, including Chris Stratton and Caleb Reed, starters in that late-April series in Tuscaloosa.
Mississippi State hosts Mississippi Valley State May 8 in a Dudy Noble Field Tuesday twinbill (4 p.m. - two 7-inning games). State closes out its 37-game home schedule the following week, hosting first-time foe Central Arkansas May 15 (6:30 p.m.) before wrapping up league play May 17-19 against league-leading Kentucky. In a pair of season-ending promotions, 500 sets of MSU baseball player cards will be distributed at the MSU-Central Arkansas game while MSU faculty and staff can purchase special $5 general admission tickets at the stadium for the MSU-Kentucky games in conjunction with that week's faculty and staff appreciation events on campus.