127th Season Of Mississippi State Baseball Begins Friday
STARKVILLE, Miss. – After winning the program’s 11th Southeastern Conference championship in 2016, Mississippi State baseball begins its 127th season this weekend with four games at Dudy Noble Field.
The Bulldogs open with 2016 NCAA College World Series participant Texas Tech Friday at 4 p.m. CT, followed by a Saturday showdown against Western Illinois at 3:30 p.m. MSU wraps up the weekend with a doubleheader against the Leathernecks (12 p.m.) and the No. 14 Red Raiders (3 p.m.).
WEEKEND SCHEDULE (All times CT)
Friday, Feb. 17
G1 – 1 p.m. – Western Illinois vs. Texas Tech
G2 – 4 p.m. – Texas Tech vs. Mississippi State
Saturday, Feb. 18
G3 – 1 p.m. – Texas Tech vs. Western Illinois
G4 – 3:30 p.m. – Western Illinois vs. Mississippi State
Sunday, Feb. 19
G5 – 12 p.m. – Western Illinois vs. Mississippi State
G6 – 3 p.m. – Texas Tech vs. Mississippi State
*MSU will be home team in all of its games
The Bulldogs are 0-2 all-time against Texas Tech, with both games occurring at the 2004 NCAA Atlanta Regional hosted by Georgia Tech. State dropped a 10-6 decision in game one of the regional, before seeing its season end at the hands of the Red Raiders by a score of 17-7. The Diamond Dawgs own a 3-0 ledger against Western Illinois, last playing the Leathernecks in a three-game series to open the 1975 campaign and earning the sweep.
Mississippi State – 32nd by NCBWA, 32nd in the USA Today Coaches Poll, receiving votes in Collegiate Baseball
Texas Tech – 14th by D1 Baseball, 17th by NCBWA and the USA Today Coaches Poll, 25th by Baseball America and 29th by Collegiate Baseball
Western Illinois – Not Ranked
NEED TO KNOW
- The Bulldogs are 80-44-2 all-time in season openers.
- Andy Cannizaro begins his first season as a head coach in college baseball after spending the previous two years as an assistant at LSU.
- Sophomore Jake Mangum earned four preseason All-American honors after garnering seven honors following his freshman season. Junior Brent Rooker also was named a preseason All-American.
- MSU sent a school-record 11 players to the prestigious Cape Cod Baseball League this summer.
- Nine Diamond Dawgs earned either mid-season or year-end all-star honors in their respective leagues this past summer.
- Pitching coach Gary Henderson makes his MSU debut this weekend after spending the last 14 seasons at Kentucky, including the previous eight seasons as the Wildcats’ skipper.
- MSU’s returning pitchers are 10-3 (.769) all-time in non-conference games and own a 9-4 (.692) mark all-time at Dudy Noble Field.
- This season’s opener against nationally-ranked Texas Tech is the first time the Bulldogs have opened the season against a ranked opponent since 2001, when MSU hosted No. 12 Notre Dame.
- The opener against the Red Raiders is also the first time MSU opens against a team from the Big 12 Conference (formerly Big 8 Conference) since 1992, when Ron Polk’s squad took on then-Big 8 conference member Texas A&M in the Oscar Meyer Classic in Minneapolis, Minn.
WEEKEND WEATHER FORECAST
Friday Forecast: High 68, Low 44 – Mostly Sunny – 10% Chance of Rain
Saturday Forecast: High 67, Low 45 – Partly Cloudy – 20% Chance of Rain
Sunday Forecast: High 73, Low 48 – Partly Cloudy – 10% Chance of Rain
LIVE VIDEO & TELEVISION
All four of MSU’s games this weekend will be streamed live on SEC Network + via the WatchESPN app and WatchESPN.com.
LIVE AUDIO & RADIO
Opening Day will air live on the Mississippi State Baseball Radio Network. The other three games will air only on WKBB 100.9 in the Starkville area. All four games will also be audio streamed live online at HailState.com/Plus (requires subscription), as well as on TuneIn Radio.
Friday – G1 – WIU LHP JT Baksha vs. TTU RHP Davis Martin
Friday – G2 – TTU LHP Steven Gingery vs. MSU LHP Konnor Pilkington
Saturday – G3 – TTU RHP Ryan Shetter vs. WIU TBA
Saturday – G4 – WIU TBA vs. MSU RHP Peyton Plumlee
Sunday – G5 – WIU TBA vs. MSU TBA
Sunday – G6 – TTU LHP Erikson Lanning vs. MSU RHP Ryan Cyr
Tickets are still available and can be purchased at HailState.com/tickets or at the MSU ticket office behind home plate, which opens two hours prior to first pitch of every game.
Bully’s Kids Club members and MSU students get in free with MSU ID for all regular season home games
Friday – The first 1,000 fans receive a free commemorative 2016 SEC Championship baseball.
Saturday – The first of seven State to the Show poster giveaways will take place, with fans able to get an Adam Frazier poster.
Sunday – “Kids’ Day at the Park” featuring inflatables and kids running the bases postgame. Bully’s Kids’ Club members and MSU students get in free with ID.
- Videoboard Message ($35)
- Diamond Girl for a Day ($29)
- Jr. Public Address Announcer ($10)
- “Play Ball” Announcer ($10)
- Deliver the Rosin Bag to Pitcher ($10)
- Second Base Delivery ($10)
GAME MANAGEMENT POLICY CHANGES
Ice Chest / Cooler check at all DNF gates
In adherence to Southeastern Conference and MSU Game Management Policy, all ice chests and ice coolers, regardless of size, will be checked at all gates prior to entry into Dudy Noble Field-Polk Dement Stadium this season. Individuals with prohibited items will be denied entry. Stadium gates will open two hours prior to first pitch, with servicing of suites and outfield rigs permitted on game day until 30 minutes prior to the gate opening time. All individuals must exit the stadium 30 minutes prior to gate opening and may reenter at gate opening after their tickets have been scanned.
Rightfield deck no standing / Safety lane
To provide for the safe management of the newly created deck space in right field, a 4’ wide “No Standing / Safety Lane” has been marked on the right field deck. This visible, safe walkway will provide an unobstructed, free moving means for individuals and emergency personnel full access to travel along the right field deck length. At no time is it permissible to block, restrict or prevent individual movement or pedestrian traffic within and along the marked lane. Pedestrians are not permitted to stop or stand at any time within the marked lane.