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No. 23 Mississippi State baseball hosts Princeton in final nonconference weekend series

Friday’s first pitch is set for 4 p.m. CT.

Austin Perryman/MSU Athletics

STARKVILLE, Miss. — A week before Southeastern Conference play begins, the No. 23 Mississippi State baseball team will host Princeton for a three-game weekend series at Dudy Noble Field beginning Friday at 4 p.m. CT.

The series continues Saturday at 1 p.m. and concludes with a 1 p.m. first pitch on Sunday. All three games will be broadcast on SEC Network+.

The Bulldogs (7-7, 0-0 SEC) are coming off a midweek split against No. 17 Texas Tech. MSU won the first game 11-5 on Tuesday before falling 7-2 on Wednesday. In Wednesday’s game, MSU was outhit 8-3. Freshman Hunter Hines and senior Brad Cumbest led the team, both going 1-for-4 with an RBI, while junior Von Seibert was 1-for-2.

The MSU offense is led by Hines with 18 hits, 14 RBIs and 14 runs on a .367 batting average. Junior Logan Tanner owns a .314 batting average with 16 hits, 16 RBIs and 12 RBIs, while Cumbest is hitting .298 with 14 hits, 13 RBIs and 11 runs.

As a team, the Bulldogs are hitting .260 with 17 home runs, 17 doubles and 104 runs scored. They have outscored opponents 104-69 through the first 14 games of the season.

The pitching staff has combined for a 4.63 ERA in 122 13 innings of work. Opponents are hitting .235 against the Bulldogs, while MSU pitchers have struck out 158 batters and walked 54. MSU’s 11.6 strikeouts per nine innings ranks 13th in the nation.

The Tigers (0-8, 0-0 Ivy League) are looking for their first win of the 2022 campaign. Four of Princeton’s eight losses have come by just one run. The Tigers have played four road games and four neutral games to start the season. Last time out, Princeton fell 15-5 to Old Dominion on Tuesday.

As a team, Princeton is hitting .235 with 10 doubles and six home runs. Junior Nadir Lewis leads the way with 14 hits, 10 RBIs and eight runs on a .500 batting average, while junior Brendan Cumming is batting .333 with 11 hits, five runs and three RBIs.

The Tiger pitching staff has a team ERA of 7.23 and has struck out 53 batters in 66 innings. Opponents are hitting .319 against the staff.

The weekend series will mark the first meeting between MSU and Princeton on the diamond. The Bulldogs are 3-0 all-time against Ivy League schools with two wins over Columbia in 2017 and one win over Yale in 1967.

Friday, March 11 (4 p.m. CT)

Probable Starters:

MSU: RHP Preston Johnson (1-0, 2.76 ERA)

PU: RHP Jackson Emus (0-1, 1.38 ERA)

Live Video: SEC Network+

Live Stats: http://stats.statbroadcast.com/statmonitr/?id=394990

Saturday, March 12 (1 p.m. CT)

Probable Starters:

MSU: RHP Cade Smith (2-0, 2.65 ERA)

PU: LHP Tom Chmielewski (0-1, 4.91 ERA)

Live Video: SEC Network+

Live Stats: http://stats.statbroadcast.com/statmonitr/?id=394991

Sunday, March 13 (1 p.m. CT)

Probable Starters:

MSU: TBA

PU: RHP Andrew D’Alessio (0-0, 4.09 ERA)

Live Video: SEC Network+

Live Stats: http://stats.statbroadcast.com/statmonitr/?id=394992