Mount St. Mary’s preview

Senior Ben Bracewell will start today's game on the mound for MSU. (AP Photo/Ted Kirk)

Senior Ben Bracewell will start today’s game on the mound for MSU. (AP Photo/Ted Kirk)

No. 4 Mississippi State seeks to get back into the win column hosting a two-game midweek series against Mount St. Mary’s beginning today with both games beginning at 4 p.m.

The Bulldogs lost the final two games of a four-game weekend series against Holy Cross over the weekend falling to 4-4 on the year. The Crusaders closed out the series with a 6-1 win on Sunday.

This is the first ever meeting between the two programs and the first ever Southeastern Conference opponent for Mount St. Mary’s.

John Cohen’s club enters the midweek series hitting .251 with three home runs and are averaging five runs a game.The Diamond Dogs also lead the Southeastern Conference with 52 walks and 10 double plays turned. They maintain a .972 fielding percentage and are 14 of 18 on stolen base attempts.

Redshirt freshman designated hitter Daniel Garner leads State with a .400 batting average while junior first baseman Wes Rea has slugged all three homers and driven in 15 runs. Outfielders Demarcus Henderson, Jake Vickerson and Jacob Robson have all swiped three bases.

The Bulldogs pitching staff has compiled a 2.62 earned run average with 79 strikeouts and 33 walk over 72 innings. Their opponents are hitting .242 against them with a pair of long balls.

Ben Bracewell, Jacob Lindgren and Austin Sexton all have flawless ERA’s intact with Trevor Fitts topping the team with 16 strikeouts. Myles Gentry, Jonathan Holder and Will Cox all have one save each.

Bracewell, a senior right-hander, is expected to start this afternoon’s game for MSU while the Mountaineers counter with sophomore righty Kevin Myers, who is making his 2014 debut. Myers went  2-1 last year with a 5.79 ERA, 10 strikeouts and 17 walks in 12 appearances (three starts).

Neither team has announced a starting pitcher for Wednesday.

Mount St. Mary’s comes into the series with a 2-1 record.. The Mountaineers won 7-6 in 12 innings over Lehigh on Friday before splitting with Davidson (8-2, 0-11) to close out the weekend.

Scott Thomson’s squad is batting .252 with one home run and are scoring five runs per game. Mount St. Mary’s did not commit an error in its three games over the weekend and have stolen four bases in six tries.

Redshirt freshman left fielder Zach Hostetter is the Mountaineers leading hitter and current Northeast Conference Player and Rookie of the Week after hitting .500 with three doubles, three RBI, two runs scored and game-winning hits against Lehigh and Davidson. Second baseman Brandon Scott has the team’s lone long ball while first baseman Andrew Frazier has two base thefts.

Mount St. Mary’s hurlers sport a 5.90 ERA with 26 strikeouts and 13 walks over 29 frames. Their opposition is hitting .385 against them with a pair of homers.

Scott Nickerson leads the staff with seven strikeouts.

Neither game will be televised. Today’s game can be heard locally on WKBB 100.9 FM and Wednesday on WMXU 106.1 FM.

I have covered Mississippi State in some capacity since 2004 and joined the Daily Journal staff in 2013. I enjoy short walks on the beach, performing concerts in my car and watching professional wrestling.

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