No. 3 Bulldogs Wrap Up Homestand Hosting 12-1 UCA Bears
The Bulldogs and the Bears continue play with a 2 p.m. game Saturday before concluding the series Sunday with a 1:30 p.m. CDT. General admission tickets ($5) will go on sale at the stadium ticket office two hours prior to each game this weekend.
Stadium gates and ticket windows open two hours prior to the scheduled game time. General admission tickets cost $5 and are good for entrance to open seating in Dudy Noble Field's grandstand chair back sections during all non-conference games in 2013. Season ticket patrons retain priority on their grandstand seats.
MSU dispatched of Mississippi Valley State 14-2 Tuesday night to extend its winning streak to 16 games, tops in the NCAA this year and the second-longest in school history. UCA registered a 10-1 win at Grambling State Tuesday to run its Southland Conference-leading record to 12-1.
Live audio and multi-camera video streaming will be available online for all three games to HailStateTV subscribers (http://www.hailstate.com/hstvlive). The radio broadcasts of the Friday and Sunday games will be carried on the statewide MSU Baseball Radio Network and available in the Golden Triangle on the flagship radio station for MSU athletics, WKBB-FM (100.9) in West Point. Saturday's local-only radio broadcast will be heard on Columbus' WNMQ-FM (103.1).
The Bulldogs, sporting the nation's second-best staff earned run average (1.25), are expected to stay with the same weekend rotation used during the first three weekends of play. Sophomore lefty Jacob Lindgren (2-0, 0.98) will open on the mound Friday opposite UCA senior righty Caleb McClanahan (3-0, 1.64). Junior right-hander Evan Mitchell (0-0, 2.08) is expected to start Saturday while senior righty Kendall Graveman (1-0, 1.80) is State's probable starter Sunday.
Friday's game is the second baseball meeting between State and Central Arkansas. UCA pitching tossed a seven-hit, 2-0 shutout at the Bulldogs May 15 last year, the only time State was shutout at home and State's last home loss of the 2012 campaign. MSU swept second-ranked Kentucky the following weekend, and with 16 consecutive home wins to open the 2013 season has claimed 19 straight wins at Dudy Noble Field.
Junior infielder Alex Detz (San Luis Obispo, Calif.), with 13 starts at first base, begins the weekend with a .475 batting average and 17 RBI. Junior shortstop Adam Frazier (.435) leads the SEC 27 hits and four triples. He opened the week ranked second in the NCAA in hits and tied for third in triples. The MSU pitching staff leads the SEC and ranks second in the NCAA with a 1.25 staff ERA. Sophomore relief man Ross Mitchell (4-0, 0.77) leads the SEC and opened the week with an NCAA-leading four wins, all in relief. Sophomore relief ace Jonathan Holder (1-0, 0.00) sets the pace in the SEC and shares the NCAA lead with five saves.
In team statistics, MSU opened the week ranked first in hits (156) and double plays turned (19).
Central Arkansas is off to a school-record 12-1 start, having claimed all 11 games at home and last Tuesday's contest at Grambling. The lone loss for the Bears was a 10-2 loss at nationally-ranked Vanderbilt. UCA's three weekend starters, Caleb McClanahan (3-0, 1.64), Jeffery Enloe (3-0, 2.38) and Bryce Biggerstaff (1-0, 1.89) have a combined 7-0 record with nine starts between them. Senior outfielder Forrest Allday (.491) leads the Bears at the plate and like State's Adam Frazier ranks among the NCAA leaders with 27 hits.
MSU plays its first game away from Dudy Noble Field next Tuesday with a 6:30 p.m. neutral site matchup with Southern Miss at Trustmark Park in Pearl, Miss.
POLL WATCHING: State registered its fourth shutout of the season in Sunday's series finale against Saint Joseph's, capping a 6-0 week that propelled the Bulldogs up a few rungs on the national ranking ladder.
MSU climbed to an eight-year high third (from No. 5) in this week's Baseball America poll. The Diamond Dogs are now ranked fifth by Collegiate Baseball and sixth in both the USA TODAY Sports coaches' poll and the NCBWA writers' poll. Perfect Game moved State into its top 10 at No. 10.
DAWGSNAX.COM TO MAKE DUDY NOBLE FIELD DEBUT: Stadium concessionaire Aramark will debut its new mobile ordering service for concessions customers in the stadium grandstand at Dudy Noble Field this weekend. Fans in the grandstand seating area will be able to order and pay for select concession stand food items from any Smartphone at DawgSnax.com and then have their order delivered to their seat. This new service is not available to fans in the bleacher or outfield sections of the stadium and will be enhanced after its debut this weekend.