San Diego saw their baseball season get off to a slow start after losing series to Moorehead State and Dallas Baptist. The team may have turned the corner recently, however. The Toreros took two games on the road at #8 Texas last weekend by scores of 3-1 and 6-1. The two teams were only able to play two games because of the weather.
San Diego is traditionally a pretty good baseball team, as are most teams in the state of California. This won't be an easy series for the Bulldogs by any stretch of the imagination. This will be the best starting pitching MSU has faced by far.
With that being said, here are the players you should follow closely this weekend:
Kyle Holder: Holder is a junior shortstop who has been phenominal so far this year. He's been the most consistent hitter on the team with a .342 average. He is one of only two players to hit a homerun this season. The Toreros are really not a power hitting team at all. What's more impressive than his batting average is the fact that Holder has played errorless baseball through the first ten games.
Austin Bailey: Bailey, a senior, also plays on the infield and has been starting since his freshman season. The switch hitter has hit over .300 each of the last two seasons and has continued at that pace so far in 2015. He's hitting .324, has walked eight times, and leads the team with a .452 OBP. Bailey was named a Freshman All-American in 2012. He has a lot of experience and is a leader of the team.
PJ Conlon: Conlon is a junior pitcher who has been starting for three years now. He has pitched 17 innings in 2015, struck out 18 batters, and has an ERA of 1.59. Opponents are hitting a terrible .153 off the left-hander. Conlon pitched six shutout innings against Texas last week.
David Hill: This guy has played his college career all over the place. He pitched at Long Beach State as a freshman. He then transferred to junior college where he flat out dominated before ending up at San Diego. He is a much better pitcher than his 4.15 ERA suggests, and Texas found that out. Hill only allowed one hit in six innings and struck out six Lonhorn batters before being named the WCC pitcher of the week.
This series will be a good test for Mississippi State, especially after dropping the first game of the season on Tuesday. It's a similar situation as two years ago when they were undefeated in non-conference play all the way up until the final weekend. The last thing this team needs is to drop two of three and lose momentum before SEC play, like they did in 2013 against Central Arkansas.