Mississippi State will be without the services of its top returning hitter to start the season.
Coach John Cohen confirmed that sophomore catcher Gavin Collins underwent hamate surgery on his left hand and is expected to miss 3-5 weeks.
Collins started 42 of the Bulldogs 48 games behind the plate and had three more starts as a designated hitter. The Lake Forest, Calif., native earned Freshman All-SEC honors from Perfect Game after batting .304 with eight doubles, one home run and 19 RBI.
Senior Cody Walker and junior Josh Lovelady are the other backstop options for MSU. Walker started six games last season while Lovelady is a transfer from Shelton State (Ala.) Community College.
Former Amory and Itawamba Community College catcher Zack Randolph is not part of the Diamond Dogs spring roster. Randolph is focusing on his academics according to a team spokesman.