STARKVILLE, Miss. — Mississippi State head baseball coach Chris Lemonis met with the media Thursday afternoon to discuss the team’s opening weekend at the College Baseball Showdown in Arlington, Texas.
As of Thursday afternoon, the College Baseball Showdown is still on and Mississippi State is scheduled to take a flight to Texas sometime Friday afternoon. The three-day tournament at Globe Life Field features six of the NCAA’s top-ranked baseball programs from the Big 12 and Southeastern Conference, including No. 4 Texas Tech, No. 5 Ole Miss, No. 7 Mississippi State, No. 8 Arkansas, No. 9 Texas and No. 11 TCU.
The start of the tournament was moved back one day to Saturday due to winter storms affecting Texas and Mississippi and other surrounding states. The Bulldogs are now slated to face Texas on Saturday, TCU on Sunday and Texas Tech on Monday. All games are scheduled for 11 a.m. CT.
“It’s been a long week,” Lemonis said. “The Texas communities have been affected by this. We are still planning on boarding a flight and getting out of here tomorrow afternoon. We’re flying out of Birmingham and trying to get in there for our practice time and play a great week in Arlington. We still have a lot of logistical things we’re still working through, and hopefully we have great weather so we can get out tomorrow. Things could change, but we’re trying to get our minds right and our focus right so that we can compete at the highest level. I give a lot of props to our administration. They’ve done a lot to help get us out there.”
Lemonis said that the three-man rotation will be junior left-hander Christian MacLeod, freshman right-hander Will Bednar and junior right-hander Eric Cerantola.
“All three of our guys are aces,” Lemonis said. “There’s no real matchup in there. It’s kind of what we ended [last] year with.”
As for the lineup, Lemonis talked about plugging different players into left field and third base.
“Brad Cumbest is an option in left field. Drew McGowan is an option in left field. Brandon Pimentel can be an option,” Lemonis said. “My swing guy in here is Kellum Clark. The last week he has been really good for us offensively. He can play third. He can play left. He can play first. [Josh] Hatcher could play the outfield. Kellum and Landon Jordan could play third.”