STARKVILLE, Miss. — Mississippi State, riding the crest of a 15-game win streak and a season-best No. 3 national ranking, plays host to instate rival Mississippi Valley State (2-11) Tuesday evening (6:30 p.m.) at Dudy Noble Field. It’s the first of four home games this week for the Bulldogs, who tangle with Southland Conference-leading Central Arkansas (11-1) in a three-game weekend series that wraps up State’s season-opening run of 19 consecutive home games.
The Bulldogs won all six games played last week against Atlantic Ten Conference foes Rhode Island and Saint Joseph’s to extend their nation-leading win streak to all 15 games, their best opening to a baseball season since the 2006 Diamond Dogs reeled off 18 straight wins. The wins boosted State in all of the national polls Monday, including a No. 3 ranking by Baseball America. It represents State’s highest ranking since MSU climbed to No. 1 in 2006.
Sophomore Brandon Woodruff (1-0, 1.80) is set to make his third start of the young season in Tuesday’s matchup with the Delta Devils.
A pair of Bulldogs enter the week hitting at least .400 for the season. Junior first baseman Alex Detz (.447) leads the club in batting average and following last week’s nine-RBI showing holds the team RBI lead with 16. Junior shortstop Adam Frazier (.424) leads the SEC with 25 hits, including a league-best four triples.
As a unit the Bulldogs rank third in the SEC with a .320 batting average and pace the league with 156 hits. The MSU pitching staff has fashioned a league-leading 1.27 earned run average with 147 strikeouts while the MSU defense stands third with a .980 fielding percentage. State leads the league with 19 double plays turned. Among individual leaders sophomore pitcher Ross Mitchell’s four wins in five relief appearances leads the SEC while another sophomore relief specialist, Jonathan Holder, sets the pace with five saves.
Junior infielder German Hays (.304) leads the way at the plate for Coach Doug Shanks’ MVSU Delta Devils.
Live audio and multi-camera video streaming will be available online to HailStateTV subscribers (http://www.hailstate.com/hstvlive). The radio broadcast of the game will also be available in the Golden Triangle area on WKBB-FM (100.9), the flagship station of the MSU Baseball Radio Network.
POLL WATCHING: MSU climbed from fifth to third in the latest Baseball America poll. The Bulldogs also jumped from ninth to fifth in the Collegiate Baseball rankings, from No. 13 to No. 6 in the USA TODAY Sports coaches’ poll and from 16th to 10th in poll compiled by Perfect Game.