No. 16 Diamond Dogs Test No. 18 Rebels In Pearl

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Trustmark Park in Pearl will once again host the Governor's Cup Tuesday night.
Photo Courtesy of hailstate.com

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State opens a run of four games on the road Tuesday night in Pearl, Miss., when the Bulldogs (26-9) square off against instate SEC rival Ole Miss (23-9) in the seventh Governor’s Cup game. First pitch for the annual non-conference Bulldog-Rebel baseball matchup is set for 6:30 p.m. and a capacity crowd is anticipated at Trustmark Park, the home of the Class AA Southern League’s Mississippi Braves.

The Bulldogs took two of three games (7-3, 2-0, 3-8) from Florida last weekend at Dudy Noble Field for MSU’s first SEC series win. State continues Southeastern Conference play on the road this weekend in College Station, Texas, with a three-game series against league-newcomer Texas A&M.

Tuesday’s State-Ole Miss game marks MSU’s second appearance at Trustmark Park this season and 16th overall. In their first game away from Dudy Noble Field this season State bested Southern Miss 13-5 in a Mar. 12 game that drew 6,948 fans. MSU has won nine of its 15 games played at the home of the Mississippi Braves.

Sophomore right-hander Brandon Woodruff (1-1, 4.15) is set to open on the mound and make his sixth start of the campaign for the Bulldogs. The Wheeler, Miss., native registered his third career quality start (6 or more IP/3 or less ER allowed) and matched a season and career-best with a six-inning start in State’s 6-4 win last Tuesday at South Alabama. He drew the start and took the loss in last year’s game. The Rebels will counter with sophomore righty Josh Laxar (2-0, 2.45).

The two teams have evenly split the previous six Governor’s Cup matchups, with UM out-scoring MSU 34-33 in the closely-contested rivalry. State leads the overall series 240-197-5 which includes a 13-14 showing against Ole Miss in the Mayor’s Trophy series held from 1980 to 2006 at Smith-Wills Stadium in Jackson.

Tuesday’s game features two of the SEC’s four .400 hitters, MSU junior outfielder Hunter Renfroe (.417, 10 HR, 38 RBI) from Crystal Springs, Miss., and UM junior catcher Stuart Turner (.409, 3 HR, 35 RBI).

Mississippi State, second in the SEC with a .976 fielding percentage, continues to pace the conference and rank among the nation’s leaders with 46 double plays.

The radio broadcast of the Governor’s Cup game as well as the inaugural MSU-Texas A&M SEC series (Apr. 12-14) will be carried on the statewide MSU Baseball Radio Network and available online to HailStateTV subscribers (http://www.hailstate.com/hstvlive).

State and Ole Miss meet again this season in a three-game SEC series May 10-12 in Oxford.

 


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