Mississippi State was predicted to win the Southeastern Conference’s Western Division by Perfect Game.
The scouting service ranked the Diamond Dogs No. 2 in its preseason poll last month and selected juniors Wes Rea and Jonathan Holder to its preseason All-SEC team.
Holder was picked as a preseason All-American by Perfect Game, the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and Louisville Slugger. The right-handed closer was 2-0 last season with 21 saves, a 1.65 earned run average and 90 strikeouts in 54 2/3 innings.
Rea returns as a captain for the second straight year. The first baseman hit .291 with seven home runs and 40 runs batted in last spring.
Rea will share captain’s duties with senior reliever Ben Bracewell.
MSU will conduct its first spring practice Saturday with an intersquad scrimmage beginning at 1 p.m. A second scrimmage will be held Sunday at 1:30 p.m. Both are free and open to the public.
PERFECT GAME PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH
1. Mississippi State
3. Texas A&M
6. Ole Miss
1. South Carolina