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Mississippi State baseball set for showdown at No. 2 Arkansas

Friday’s first pitch is set for 6 p.m. CT.

Laura Parsley/MSU Athletics

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The Mississippi State baseball team (16-10, 3-3 SEC) will battle the No. 2 Arkansas Razorbacks (19-4, 5-1 SEC) in a three-game series beginning on Friday at 6 p.m. CT at Baum-Walker Stadium on SEC Network.

The series continues Saturday at 6:30 p.m. and concludes with a 2 p.m. first pitch on Sunday. Friday’s series opener will air nationally on SEC Network while the other two games will air on SEC Network+.

The Bulldogs are coming off a 10-4 midweek win at Memphis on Tuesday. MSU was held hitless through the first five innings before scoring six runs in the bottom of sixth inning in the win. Junior Kamren James was 2-for-3 at the plate with three RBIs and two runs scored, while junior Logan Tanner, graduate student RJ Yeager and junior Von Seibert each recorded one hit and one RBI.

On the season, James leads MSU with a .340 batting average, 32 hits, 22 runs and 14 RBIs. Senior Brad Cumbest has recorded 30 hits, 20 RBIs and 20 runs on a .316 batting average and freshman Hunter Hines has recorded 29 hits, 31 RBIs and 31 runs while hitting .312.

The MSU pitching staff owns a 4.82 ERA and is allowing opponents to a .243 hitting average, which ranks ninth in the Southeastern Conference. MSU’s 302 strikeouts is No. 1 in the league and second in the nation.

The Razorbacks have won 14 of their last 15 games and are coming off a 16-8 midweek win over Arkansas-Little Rock on Tuesday.

Arkansas is led by graduate student Michael Turner, who owns a .369 batting average with 31 hits, 25 RBIs and 20 runs. Graduate student Chris Lanzilli is hitting .358 with 29 hits, 15 RBIs and 14 runs, while sophomore Cayden Wallace is hitting .304 with 28 hits, 28 runs and 24 RBIs.

The Razorback pitching staff is ranked 12th nationally in hits allowed per nine innings (7.3), 13th in strikeouts per nine innings (11.2) and 16th in ERA (3.46).

Friday’s game will mark the 109th meeting between MSU and Arkansas on the diamond. The Bulldogs own a 56-54 all-time record, but the Razorbacks are on a six-game winning streak against MSU.

Friday, April 1 (6 p.m. CT)

Probable Starters:

MSU: RHP Preston Johnson (2-1, 3.41 ERA)

ARK: RHP Connor Noland (3-1, 3.41 ERA)

TV: SEC Network

Live Stats: https://stats.statbroadcast.com/statmonitr/?id=391847

Saturday, April 2 (6:30 p.m. CT)

Probable Starters:

MSU: RHP Parker Stinnett (3-0, 4.67 ERA)

ARK: LHP Hagen Smith (4-1, 3.45 ERA)

Live Video: SEC Network+

Live Stats: https://stats.statbroadcast.com/statmonitr/?id=391848

Saturday, April 2 (6:30 p.m. CT)

Probable Starters:

MSU: RHP Cade Smith (4-1, 2.91 ERA)

ARK: RHP Jaxon Wiggins (4-0, 3.71 ERA)

Live Video: SEC Network+

Live Stats: https://stats.statbroadcast.com/statmonitr/?id=391849