Previewing today’s series opener between No. 3 MSU and Central Arkansas.
• First pitch: 6:30 p.m.
• Records: UCA 12-1, MSU 16-0.
• Pitching matchup: UCA RHP Caleb McClanahan (3-0, 1.64 ERA) vs. MSU LHP Jacob Lindgren (2-0, 0.98)
• Central Arkansas lineup: RF Forrestt Allday, 2B Blake Marchal, CF Jonathan Davis, C Michael Marietta, DH Kraig Kelley, 3B Garrett Brown, 1B Scott Zimmerle, SS Justin Treece, LF Tyler Langley
• MSU lineup: SS Adam Frazier, CF C.T. Bradford, 1B Alex Detz, RF Hunter Renfroe, 2B Brett Pirtle, C Mitch Slauter, DH Trey Porter, LF Demarcus Henderson, 3B Sam Frost
• What to watch for: This could be MSU’s toughest test to date. The Bears, of the Southland Conference, feature strong starting pitching, and at the plate they’re very patient. In fact, UCA leads the nation in both walks (111) and in runs scored (129), and it hits .300 as a team. The Bears also like to run, with 25 stolen bases in 31 attempts. UCA has won nine in a row since losing to Vanderbilt, 10-2, on Feb. 20 in Nashville. It should be noted that UCA has a strength-of-schedule rating of 201, according to WarrenNolan.com.
• Pregame playlist: A few songs from my iPod to set the tone…
–”Poor Boy’s Dream,” Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown
–”Long Haired Country Boy,” The Charlie Daniels Band
–”Pacific Dust,” The Mother Hips
–”Make It Home,” Thenewno2
–”The Slam,” TobyMac