MSU vs. Georgia - Game Times, Pitching Matchups, and More

Kevin C. Cox

Your pitching matchups, news, and more for the all-Bulldogs match this weekend as well as other college baseball action around the nation and SEC.

With the non-conference portion of the schedule concluded (man, does it seem like the first few weeks flew by to anyone else?), the Mississippi State Bulldogs head to Athens, Georgia this weekend for an all-Bulldog matchup with the Georgia Bulldogs.

After a fairly rough start that featured four straight losses and five out of six to start the season, the Georgia baseball team has righted the ship quite a bit as they come in having won ten games in a row.  That streak includes a solid win over shared opponent Western Carolina, as well as an eye-popping 26-7 win this past week over Western Kentucky.  Whether it's an easier schedule of late or just that they've gotten on track, Georgia coach Scott Stricklin (no, they didn't steal ours... I don't think) seems to have his team in a great position entering conference play.

On the Mississippi State side of things, the Dogs come in with two straight wins following what was a nightmare weekend at the Hi Corbett Classic in Tuscon last weekend.  The good news is that MSU looked its best in the Sunday game, and they were able to add a win in the midweek over Southern Illinois to enter SEC play on at least a bit of a brighter note.  Still, there are lots of questions for the maroon and white as conference play starts, namely which pitchers will anchor the rotation, and can State break out offensively.  Even in its wins so far this season, we haven't really seen State have a big-time offensive game.  That's certainly something they are capable of if they can get hot, so it will be interesting to see how State's bats respond now to the SEC portion of the schedule.

As for the pitching staff, there has been a bit of shakeup entering this weekend as Ben Bracewell moves into the Friday slot, replacing Brandon Woodruff.  Bracewell has pitched very well thus far, while Woodruff has not, so the senior will get the nod for the conference opener.  Woodruff so far has not had a quality start, and that's a major concern going forward for State.  Despite that, if Bracewell, Trevor Fitts and either Austin Sexton or Dakota Hudson can eat up innings for State this weekend, that devastating bullpen should fill the rest in nicely.

Ultimately, it is hard to know what to expect out of this matchup this weekend.  If you had asked me in the preseason what I expected, I would have likely told you I expected sweep, but now I'm not sure what will happen.  State is not playing well right now, but the talent is still there.  If State can put it all together, I still think a series win - or even a sweep - is certainly possible.  BUT - and it's a big but, like the mother's in the Nutty Professor - if State comes out like they did last weekend, this could be a bad opening weekend of SEC play.  I do think State comes out ready to play this weekend, though, after last weekend's disappointment, and I think the Mississippi edition of the Bulldogs go into Athens and get the series win.

Here's to hoping I'm right (even though most of the time I'm not).

all times and pitching matchups courtesy of HailState.com

Game Times and Pitching Matchups (All times Central, matchups subject to change)

Friday - 6 p.m. - Foley Field - Athens, Georiga
- RSr. RHP Ben Bracewell (2-1, 1.74 ERA) vs. So. LHP Ryan Lawlor (1-1, 6.61 ERA)

Saturday - 11 a.m. - Foley Field
- Jr. RHP Trevor Fitts (2-0, 3.92 ERA) vs. Fr. RHP Robert Tyler (0.93 ERA)

Sunday - 12 p.m. - Foley Field
- TBA vs. Sr. LHP Patrick Boling (2-1, 2.57 ERA)

Leading Hitters

Georgia
- Hunter Cole, OF/3B | .377 avg, 26 hits, 1 HR, 11 RBIs, .522 slg%
- Conor Welton, OF | .361 avg, 26 hits, 1 HR, 10 RBIs, .444 slg%

Mississippi State
- C.T. Bradford, CF | .333 avg, 18 hits, 4 3B, 10 RBIs, 2 SB, .500 slg%
- Demarcus Henderson, OF | .333 avg, .472 ob%, 14 hits, 8 SBs, 4 RBIs

Links

Baseball America Weekend Preview - 3/14 to 3/16
MSU vs. Georgia - Game Notes (via HailState.com)
Georgia Baseball Homepage

Top 25 Weekend Matchups

- (21) Mississippi at (1) South Carolina
- (5) North Carolina State at (2) Florida State
- Boston College at (3) Virginia
- (4) Oregon State at Utah
- (6) Louisiana-Lafayette at Louisiana-Monroe
- (8) Louisiana State at (7) Vanderbilt
- St. Mary's at (9) Cal State Fullerton
- Kansas at (10) Texas
- Wagner at (11) Cal Poly
- Southern California at (12) Oregon
- (13) Miami at Georgia Tech
- (14) Clemson at Wake Forest
- (15) Rice at Florida International
- (16) Indiana at Long Beach State
- Samford at (17) Louisville
- (18) Sam Houston State at New Orleans
- (19) North Carolina at Maryland
- (20) Kentucky at Alabama
- (22) Tennessee at Missouri
- Wichita State at (23) UC Santa Barbara
- (24) Mississippi State at Georgia
- (25) UCLA at California

SEC Weekend Matchups

- Texas A&M at Auburn
- Arkansas at Florida
- (21) Ole Miss at (1) South Carolina
- (24) Mississippi State at Georgia
- (22) Tennessee at Missouri
- (20) Kentucky at Alabama
- (8) LSU at (7) Vanderbilt

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