After weather cancelled No. 17 Mississippi State's midweek game versus Memphis, the Bulldogs return to the diamond this weekend to host a four game slate against UMass Lowell and Nicholls State.
Each team will take a turn playing a double header this weekend with UMass Lowell (0-0) doing the trick on Friday, the Bulldogs (2-2) playing two on Saturday, and Nicholls State (4-1) closing out on Sunday.
Friday, Feb. 26, 2016
G1 - 12 p.m. - UMass Lowell vs. Nicholls State
G2 - 4:30 p.m. - UMass Lowell vs. Mississippi State
Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016
G3 - 11 a.m. - Nicholls State vs. Mississippi State
G4 - 40 Minutes After G3 Ends - UMass Lowell vs. Mississippi State
Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016
G5 - 11 a.m. - Nicholls State vs. UMass Lowell
G6 - 3:30 p.m. - Nicholls State vs. Mississippi State
NICHOLLS STATE COLONELS
Nicholls State enters the weekend with the best record of the three teams playing, and one of the reasons has been the insanely hot start to the season by Kyle Reese, who sports a .737 batting average (14 for 19 in five starts) with 13 RBIS. Behind him, Gavin Wehby and Alex Shermer are both hitting over .400.
Cole Stapler (1-0), who is expected to start against Mississippi State Saturday, sports a 1.50 ERA after his one start. In that game, he gave up three hits and one run while striking out six in six innings of work.
The expected starter against Mississippi State on Sunday, Alex Ernestine (1-0), saw a bit more trouble in his only start. He went five innings, giving up four hits and three runs while striking out six.
UMASS LOWELL RIVER HAWKS
The River Hawks will be playing their first game of the 2016 season on Friday, and they enter the season after back-to-back third place finishes in the America East Conference. The River Hawks are starting their third season of Division 1 play.
The River Hawks finished last year 17-26 overall and 10-10 in league play. The team lost 19 players from last season, including most of their starting infield.
The River Hawks are expected to throw Steve Xirinachs Friday against Mississippi State. As a freshman, he pitched for 22.2 innings, and going 1-2 with three saves while picking up 15 strikeouts. Last year as a sophomore, he appeared in eleven games, and finished the season with a 5.48 ERA.
On Saturday UMass Lowell is expected to send Nick Kuzia to the mound against Mississippi State. The sophomore went 2-2 as a freshman last season, appearing in 13 games and starting six. He finished the season with a 5.84 ERA in 37 innings of work, while striking out 21.
His last start of the season came against LIU Brooklyn, where he went six innings, striking out five and only allowing two hits and no runs.