STARKVILLE, Miss. - No. 17 Mississippi State (23-8, 3-6 SEC) plays its first true non-conference road game of the year Tuesday night in Mobile, Ala., when the Bulldogs take on the South Alabama Jaguars (22-7). First pitch at USA’s Eddie Stanky Field is set for 6:30 p.m.
The radio broadcast of the game, featuring the play-by-play and analysis of Jim Ellis and Bart Gregory, will be carried on the statewide MSU Baseball Radio Network and available online to HailStateTV subscribers (http://www.hailstate.com/hstvlive).
The Bulldogs carry an unblemished 7-0 record in mid-week competition into their 66th baseball meeting with South Alabama. State holds a 41-24 all-time lead in the series started in 1976, claiming the last three and 10 of the last 12 MSU-USA diamond duels. Last year at Dudy Noble Field a 12th-inning home run by Bulldog first baseman Wes Rea lifted State to a 2-0 win.
Juniors Hunter Renfroe and Adam Frazier form a formidable one-two offensive punch for the Bulldogs. The power-hitting Renfroe (.436) sports the SEC’s second-highest batting average and leads State in home runs (9) and RBI (36). Solid-fielding shortstop Frazier (.363) stands third in the SEC with 45 hits and leads the league with 100 assists and 34 double plays fielded. Both Renfroe (15 games) and Frazier (nine games) ended career-longest hitting streaks during last weekend’s series at No. 11 Arkansas.
Sophomore relief pitcher Ross Mitchell (5-0, 0.96), following a career-best 6.1 innings of scoreless relief pitching at Arkansas, now shares the SEC earned run average lead.
South Alabama won its first nine games and climbed into the national polls with a 22-4 record before dropping three Sun Belt Conference games last weekend at Florida International. The Jaguars lead the SBC with 308 hits. Junior designated hitter Jordan Patterson (.398) ranks fourth in the Sun Belt Conference in hitting. The Jags have tabbed junior right-hander Matt Bell (4-0, 1.61) for starting mound duty against Mississippi State. MSU has not designated a Tuesday night starter.
MSU turned four double plays last week to raise its NCAA-leading total to 41. The Diamond Dog defense has played 16 error-free games, including their last six, and now fields at a .977 clip.
After two weekends of league play on the road, the Bulldogs resume SEC competition at Dudy Noble Field with a three-game weekend series against SEC Eastern Division rival Florida (13-16, 4-5 SEC). Game times are set for 6:30 p.m. Friday, 3 p.m. Saturday and 1:30 p.m. Sunday. Saturday’s game will be televised regionally by Comcast Sports Southeast/Cox Sports Television.