Mississippi State makes a rare Wednesday appearance at Dudy Noble Field tonight hosting Jacksonville State at 6:30 p.m.
Tonight marks just the fourth time this season the Bulldogs have played on Wednesday and first since March 5. MSU is 8-1 in midweek action and 28-17 overall on the year.
The Diamond Dogs have won six of their last eight games but will attempt to shake off a two-game skid that resulted in a weekend series loss to Texas A&M.
Mississippi State is 11-0 all-time against JSU, last meeting in 2007 resulting in an 11-9 victory.
John Cohen’s club enters tonight’s game batting .275 with eight home runs and averaging 5.1 runs. The Bulldogs maintain a .980 fielding percentage and are 59-of-77 on stolen base attempts.
Senior second baseman Brett Pirtle leads the team with 60 hits and a .349 average at the plate. Pirtle is currently riding a 14-game hitting streak. Junior first baseman Wes Rea has clubbed three homers and is tied with senior designated hitter Alex Detz with 31 runs batted in. Senior outfielder Derrick Armstrong has swiped 13 bases in 15 tries.
MSU’s pitching staff has compiled a 3.30 earned run average with 375 strikeouts and 151 walks in 406 innings. Their opponents are hitting .255 against them with seven long balls.
Junior reliever Jacob Lindgren leads the club with 64 strikeouts and a 1.36 ERA. Lindgren leads the country with 17.5 strikeouts per nine innings. Junior All-American Jonathan Holder has notched five of the Diamond Dogs 12 saves this season.
Junior left-hander Lucas Laster will make his second career start on the mound tonight. In five outings, Laster has a 3.27 ERA with eight strikeouts and a walk over 11 innings of work. He has not recorded a decision on the year.
Jacksonville State will counter with senior southpaw Casey Antley, who will be making his fifth start of the season. Antley is 1-3 with a 6.59 ERA with 22 strikeouts and 18 walks in 27.1 frames.
The Gamecocks (23-19) won 5-3 at home against Southeast Missouri on Sunday but lost the series against the Redhawks. JSU’s contest against Alabama State was rained out last night.
Jim Case’s club is hitting .287 with 20 homers and is scoring six runs per game. The Gamecocks sport a .966 fielding percentage and are 62-of-75 on base thefts.
Senior designated hitter Stephen Bartlett is batting .408 on the year while senior right fielder Griff Gordan tops Jacksonville State with 62 hits and four long balls. Sophomore first baseman Pashal Petrongolo is the team’s RBI leader with 32 while senior left fielder Gavin Goslan is the top base thief with 24 steals in 27 chances.
Jacksonville State’s hurlers have a 4.67 staff ERA with 275 strikeouts and 172 walks over 378 frames. Their opposition is hitting .276 against them with 21 home runs.
Junior reliever Michael Barber still has a flawless ERA while junior Zachary Fowler leads the club with 42 strikeouts. Junior Travis Stout has closed out nine games for the Gamecocks.
Tonight’s game will not be televised but can be heard on the MSU Baseball Radio Network with Jim Ellis and Bart Gregory on the call.