Alcorn State preview

Paxton Stover has made one relief appearance as a true freshman. (Mississippi State)

Paxton Stover has made one relief appearance as a true freshman. (Mississippi State)

No. 22 Mississippi State hopes to keep its perfect 8-0 start going in its first midweek action of the year.

The Diamond Dogs host instate opponent Alcorn State at 4 p.m. today.

MSU had its initial midweek game against Mississippi Valley State canceled last week. The Bulldogs went 8-2 in midweek action last year.

Mississippi State is 13-0 all-time against the Braves including a 16-2 victory last year. Alex Detz led the way at the plate going 3-for-4 with a double and four runs batted in that outing.

The Diamond Dogs have outscored Alcorn State 197-36 in the series with the average score being 15-3.

John Cohen‘s club is coming off a four-game round robin sweep against Marshall and Alabama State. The Bulldogs outscored their opponents 33-9 over the weekend.

Mississippi State and USC are the only two teams in the country that have opened the season 8-0.

The Diamond Dogs are hitting .324 with six home runs and averaging 10.1 runs per game. MSU maintains a .964 fielding percentage and are 12-of-16 on stolen base attempts.

Junior outfielder Michael Smith and senior pitcher Ross Mitchell lead the team both batting 1.000. Senior shortstop Seth Heck tops the squad with 14 hits and has reached base safely in 38 consecutive games. Redshirt freshman designated hitter Brent Rooker has blasted a pair of homers and drove in nine runs. Sophomore centerfielder Jacob Robson is 6-of-8 on base thefts, which is tied for the Southeastern Conference lead.

MSU’s pitching staff has compiled a 2.88 earned run average with 75 strikeouts and 30 walks in 72 innings of work. Their opponents are batting just .213 against them with six long balls.

Mitchell, Trevor Fitts, Levi Mintz and Dakota Hudson all have a flawless ERA. Junior right-hander Preston Brown tops the team with 15 strikeouts while Fitts has three saves.

The Bulldogs will send freshman righty Jesse McCord (0-0, 27.00 ERA) to the mound against Alcorn State. McCord’s initial start lasted only 1 1/3 innings giving up four runs on three hits, three walks and two strikeouts.

The Braves will counter with sophomore right-hander Jonathan Morales making his first start of the year. Morales is 0-0 with a 15.00 ERA, three strikeouts and three walks in three innings of relief.

Alcorn State is 3-4 on the year and went 2-1 at the MLB Urban Youth Academy in New Orleans over the weekend. Barret Rey‘s club won back-to-back games over Grambling State (15-10) and Southern (11-9).

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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