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No. 2 Mississippi State baseball squares off against No. 3 Arkansas at Dudy Noble Field

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First pitch on Friday is slated for 6:30 p.m.

Austin Perryman/Mississippi State Athletics

STARKVILLE, Miss. — Two top baseball programs will square off on the diamond when the No. 2 Mississippi State Bulldogs host the No. 3 Arkansas Razorbacks in a three-game series at Dudy Noble Field beginning on Friday at 6:30 p.m. CT on SEC Network+.

Saturday’s game is slated for 2 p.m. and will also air on SEC Network+, while Sunday’s game will also start at 2 p.m. and will broadcast nationally on SEC Network.

The Bulldogs (17-4, 2-1 SEC) are coming off a dominating 18-1 win over North Alabama on Wednesday. MSU opened Southeastern Conference play last weekend against then-No. 13 LSU, taking two of the three games to claim a series win.

The MSU pitching staff ranks No. 1 nationally in strikeouts (274), No. 1 in shutouts (5), No. 2 in ERA (2.30) and third in hits allowed per nine innings (5.65).

The offense is led by senior Tanner Allen with a .329 batting average, 26 hits, 24 runs and 21 RBIs. Sophomore Kamren James is batting .321 with 21 RBIs. Over the last five games, he is batting .444 with eight hits, four runs and four RBIs. Junior Luke Hancock is batting .277 with 21 RBIs and a team-high five home runs.

The Razorbacks (16-3, 2-1 SEC), who also rank No. 1 in the Baseball America Top 25, lost 16-1 in its SEC opener against then-No. 19 Alabama before bouncing back with a 9-1 win and a 3-1 win to take the series. They then swept Memphis 14-1 and 9-4 in a two-game midweek series on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Arkansas is led by senior Casey Opitz with 20 hits, 12 runs and seven RBIs on a .364 batting average. Junior Brady Slavens is batting .304 with a team-high 20 RBIs, six home runs and 18 runs scored.

The Bulldogs and Razorbacks have met 107 times prior to this weekend’s three-game series. MSU owns a 56-51 all-time lead. The home team has swept each of the last four meetings. Including the 2017 SEC Tournament, the two teams are tied 7-7 in the last 14 games played.

Friday, March 26 (6:30 p.m. CT)

Probable Starters:

MSU: LHP Christian MacLeod (2-1, 1.74 ERA)

UA: LHP Patrick Wicklander (0-0, 2.51 ERA)

Live Video: https://hailst.at/3lShNZr

Live Audio: https://hailst.at/audio

Live Stats: http://hailst.at/StatBroadcast

Saturday, March 27 (2 p.m. CT)

Probable Starters:

MSU: RHP Will Bednar (1-0, 0.00 ERA)

UA: RHP Zebulon Vermillion (2-0, 2.13 ERA)

Live Video: https://hailst.at/31ihyO7

Live Audio: https://hailst.at/audio

Live Stats: http://hailst.at/StatBroadcast

Sunday, March 28 (2 p.m. CT)

Probable Starters:

MSU: RHP Jackson Fristoe (2-1, 1.71 ERA)

UA: LHP Lael Lockhart (1-1, 2.38 ERA)

TV: SEC Network

Live Video: https://hailst.at/3cnguhY

Live Audio: https://hailst.at/audio

Live Stats: http://hailst.at/StatBroadcast