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Mississippi State Baseball 2020 Preview

The Bulldogs begin the 2020 season on Friday

NCAA Baseball: College World Series-Louisville vs Mississippi State Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 9 Mississippi State baseball team is set to open the season with a three-game homestand against Wright State at Dudy Noble Field. Friday’s game has been moved up to 1 p.m. from 4 p.m. due to cold weather. Start times for the rest of the series are unchanged. Mississippi State will play Wright State at 2 p.m. Saturday and at 1 p.m. Sunday. All three games can be streamed via SEC Network+.

The Bulldogs come into 2020 having lost a lot of talent to the MLB Draft, but the season still leaves room for optimism as this team should be back in the NCAA Tournament and will make another run at a College World Series Championship.

2020 Projected Starters

C: Luke Hancock

1B: Josh Hatcher

2B: Justin Foscue

3B: Landon Jordan

SS: Jordan Westburg

LF: Brad Cumbest

CF: Rowdey Jordan

RF: Tanner Allen

DH: Brandon Pimentel

Pitching Rotation

SP: JT Ginn

SP: Christian MacLeod

SP: Eric Cerantola

Closer: Landon Sims


2019 Record: 52-15 (20-10 SEC)

Key Returning Players:

Tanner Allen, OF, .349 BA, 7 HR, 66 RBI

Justin Foscue, INF, .331 BA, 14 HR, 60 RBI

Jordan Westburg, INF, .294 BA, 6 HR, 66 RBI

Rowdey Jordan, OF, .290 BA, 6 HR, 49 RBI, 11 SB

JT Ginn, P, 8-4 record, 3.13 ERA, 86.1 IP, 19 BB, 105 SO

Brandon Smith, P, 3-0 record, 3.93 ERA, 36.2 IP, 6 BB, 31 SO

Jack Eagan, P, 1-0 record, 3.09 ERA, 23.1 IP, 17 BB, 34 SO

The Bulldog offense will have to replace Mississippi State legend Jake Mangum along with Elijah MacNamee and Dustin Skelton, but this team has plenty of bats to make up for their departures. The offense will be as powerful as ever as it brings back most of its offense from a team last year that ranked fifth in the nation in batting and 11th in scoring a year ago.

Tanner Allen, Justin Foscue and Jordan Westburg will form the core of the Mississippi State lineup for the 2020 season. Allen had 96 hits in 2019, which ranked fourth overall in the nation. Of those 96 hits, 31 of those went for extra bases. Foscue hit .331 with 14 home runs, 60 RBIs and 66 runs scored. Westburg hit .294 with six home runs, 66 runs batted in and had a .402 on-base percentage.

The biggest question mark for this year’s team will be pitching. JT Ginn, coming off a season where he was named Co-National Freshman Pitcher of the Year, will be the ace of the staff. He struck out 105 batters in 86.1 innings, while walking just 19 batters and limiting opposing hitters to a .220 batting average. Christian MacLeod and Eric Cerantola will look to solidify their positions as the second and third arms in the rotation. Even if those two can’t be dominate, the MSU bats should be good enough to win plenty of ball games.

2020 SEC Baseball Coaches Preseason Poll

Eastern Division

1. Vanderbilt (9) - 87

2. Florida (3) - 77

3. Georgia (2) - 76

4. Tennessee - 50

5. South Carolina - 48

6. Missouri - 32

7. Kentucky - 22

Western Division

1. Arkansas (5) - 82

2. Mississippi State (4) - 73

T3. Auburn (2) - 67

T3. LSU (3) - 67

5. Texas A&M - 44

6. Ole Miss - 38

7. Alabama - 21