State Hosts First SEC East Foe Vanderbilt In Easter Weekend Series

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Beautiful weather is expected for this weekend's series vs. Vanderbilt at Dudy Noble.
Photo Courtesy of Russ Houston

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State crosses conference divisional lines for the first time this season when the Bulldogs (18-11, 3-6 SEC) host defending SEC tri-champion and 2011 College World Series participant Vanderbilt (12-17, 3-6 SEC) in a three-game Easter weekend series at Dudy Noble Field.

Friday’s series-opener is set for a 6:30 p.m. start, with MSU junior righty Chris Stratton (6-0, 2.27) matched with Vanderbilt sophomore southpaw Kevin Ziomek (2-4, 4.70). It’s the fourth start of the season and the second at Dudy Noble Field in 2012 for Stratton, whose 61 strikeouts ranks second in the SEC and tied for fifth nationally.

The Bulldogs, who have registered a win against nationally-ranked SEC Western Division foes LSU (No. 10), Arkansas (No. 3) and Auburn (No. 24) during the first three weekends of 2012 league play, begin the week tied in the overall league standings with Vanderbilt and another 2011 NCAA College World Series participant, two-time defending NCAA champion South Carolina, all with 3-6 league marks.

Live audio and high definition video streaming is available online on a subscription basis, (www.HailState.com/hstvlive), with the radio broadcast of all three games carried on the statewide MSU Baseball Radio Network.

Junior right-hander Kendall Graveman (2-1, 3.05), whose complete-game win at LSU on SEC opening weekend stands as the lone rout-going performance to date in the SEC, will open on the mound in Saturday’s 2 p.m. contest opposite Vandy sophomore righty Tyler Beede (1-3, 5.46). Neither team has designated a starting pitcher for Sunday’s 1:30 p.m. series finale.

Mississippi State, in search of its initial SEC series win of the spring, has compiled a 16-5 record at Dudy Noble Field and is nearing its 1,000th all-time baseball win at the current on-campus playing site. MSU has registered 986 wins at home since moving to Dudy Noble Field in 1967.

The Bulldogs hold a 62-38-1 all-time lead in the baseball series with the Commodores but will be looking to stem a run of Vanderbilt success in recent meetings. MSU's 9-8 Sunday win in last year's SEC opening weekend series in Nashville snapped a run of 12 consecutive series wins by Vanderbilt, which enter this weekend's renewal having won six straight at Dudy Noble Field.

General admission tickets ($10) will go on sale at the Dudy Noble Field Ticket Office two hours prior to each day’s scheduled first pitch.

State hosts South Alabama Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. and resumes SEC play at home in two weekends with back-to-back home series against Tennessee (Apr. 19-21) and Ole Miss (April 27-29).


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