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No. 17 Diamond Dogs End Road Run, Host Gators In SEC Series

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#17 State will host Florida in a three-game series at Dudy Noble Field/Polk-DeMent Stadium this weekend.
Photo Courtesy of Russ Houston

STARKVILLE, Miss. - After back-to-back weekends on the road in league play, No. 17 Mississippi State (24-8/3-6 SEC) returns to action at Dudy Noble Field this weekend when the Bulldogs play host to SEC Eastern Division rival Florida (14-16/4-5 SEC) in a three-game league series.

Friday’s series-opener, the 100th baseball meeting between MSU and UF, is set for a 6:30 p.m. start, with Bulldog senior lefty Luis Pollorena (4-1, 3.34) and Gator junior righty Jonathon Crawford (1-4, 4.46) designated for starting mound duty. Saturday’s 3 p.m. game will be televised regionally by Cox Sports Television/Comcast (CSS) and available online on ESPN3. The series finale is set for 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

The Bulldogs will be looking for clutch hitting to pull away from some close encounters and notch their first league series win with this weekend’s interdivisional matchup. Three one-run games and one extra-inning setback are included in 1-2 showings over the first three SEC weekends. The Bulldogs have not been out-hit or out-scored in any of their first three conference weekend series against No. 2 LSU, at No. 8 Kentucky and last weekend at No. 11 Arkansas.

Junior rightfielder Hunter Renfroe (.439, 9 HR, 36 RBI) leads the Bulldogs at the plate and ranks second in the SEC in batting average, slugging percentage (.847) and on-base percentage (.504). Renfroe ended a career-best 15-game hitting streak last weekend and has hit safely in all but two of his 27 games. Teammate Adam Frazier (.357), a starter in all 32 games this season, ranks second in the league with 34 runs scored, third with 46 hits and leads the league with four triples. On defense the Bishop, Ga., product leads the SEC with 103 assists and has assisted with 34 of MSU’s NCAA-leading 41 double plays.

Sophomore lefty Ross Mitchell has registered five wins and a save in 12 relief appearances and leads the SEC with a 0.96 earned run average. Fellow Bulldog relief pitcher Chad Girodo (3-1, 1.00) leads the league with 18 games in relief while sophomore Jonathan Holder registered his eighth save (second-most in the SEC) Tuesday night and with 17 career saves is tied for fifth place with former Major Leaguer Jay Powell among MSU’s career saves leaders.

The radio broadcast of all three weekend games will be carried on the statewide MSU Baseball Radio Network and available online to HailStateTV subscribers (http://www.hailstate.com/hstvlive). Live online video streaming for those subscribers will be available for the Friday and Sunday games only.

Stadium gates and ticket windows open two hours prior to scheduled game time each day, Stadium gates and ticket windows open two hours prior to each game, with general admission ($10) tickets available for all three games.


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