STARKVILLE, Miss. — The fifth-ranked Bulldogs continue their season-opening homestand and take on their second consecutive first-time opponent Tuesday afternoon when Mississippi State (4-0) entertains Grambling State (0-3) at Dudy Noble Field.
First pitch is set for 4 p.m. in the first Bulldogs-Tigers matchup on the diamond, with sophomore Brandon Woodruff (Wheeler, Miss.) projected as the State starter. 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.
Fourteen Bulldog pitchers combined for a remarkable 0.75 staff earned run average last week as MSU out-scored visiting Portland 31-3 during a four-game series sweep. Senior Luis Pollorena (Laredo, Texas) picked up a win and registered a staff-leading seven strikeouts over five innings in two relief appearances.
MSU hit at a .355 clip in four games, led by senior catcher Mitch Slauter (Olathe, Kans.) and junior shortstop Adam Frazier (Bishop, Ga.) Slauter hit .667 with four RBI and a .727 on-base percentage in two starts behind the dish. Frazier hit .500 with a team-best eight hits and sparkled on defense with 26 error-free defensive chances, including assists on all seven double plays turned by the State defense.
Grambling dropped all three games of its season-opening weekend series at Northwestern State, including a 16-inning, 8-7 marathon in Sunday’s finale. GSU came up short on the weekend despite out-hitting the Demons 28 to 26. Shortstop Juan Bueno (.294) collected five hits to pace Grambling.
Tuesday afternoon’s game begins a five-game week for the Bulldogs. State hosts a pair of 2012 NCAA Tournament regional finalists this in the Diamond Classic presented by Polk’s Meat Products. State begins play in the double round-robin event Friday at 6 p.m. against defending Big Ten Conference champion Purdue and tests Southern Conference foe Samford Saturday at 3 p.m. Two games are scheduled each day of the Diamond Classic.
Mississippi State remained at No. 5 in the latest Baseball America rankings and climbed to No. 12 in this week’s Collegiate Baseball poll.