South Alabama preview

Senior third baseman Seth Heck lead Mississippi State with 36 hits. (Mississippi State)

Senior third baseman Seth Heck lead Mississippi State with 36 hits. (Mississippi State)

Mississippi State travels to Mobile at 6:30 p.m. today looking to keep up its recent success against South Alabama.

The Diamond Dogs (19-11) have won six straight against the Jaguars including a 3-0 victory in Starkville last season. Preston Brown, Ross Mitchell and Jacob Lindgren combined for the shutout on the mound while Wes Rea was 2-for-3 with a pair of singles and Alex Detz had a homer and drove in two runs.

MSU leads the overall series 44-24 and sports a 7-1 record against USA under John Cohen.

Mississippi State is 19-11 on the year after losing a weekend series at home to Auburn. The Diamond Dogs were shutout in the first two games by a combined score of 9-0 but salvaged the finale on Sunday with a 3-1 win.

Cohen’s club is hitting .275 with 14 home runs and scoring 5.9 runs per game. MSU ranks second nationally with 167 walks and is third with 35 double plays turned. The Bulldogs maintain a .975 fielding percentage and are 33-of-43 on stolen base attempts.

Sophomore centerfielder Jacob Robson tops the team with a .380 batting average and 15 steals. Senior third baseman Seth Heck leads State with 36 hits while sophomore designated hitter Reid Humphreys has slugged four homers. Rea is the club leader with 18 runs batted in.

The Diamond Dogs pitching staff has compiled a 3.59 earned run average with 235 strikeouts and 99 walks in 268 innings. Their opponents are batting .245 against them with 18 long balls.

Sophomore southpaw Daniel Brown will take the mound for his first career start for the Bulldogs. In eight relief appearances, Brown is 1-0 with a 3.77 ERA and a save while notching 22 strikeouts and five walks.

Brown will be opposed by South Alabama sophomore right-hander Matt Peacock, also making his first start this spring. In two stints out of the bullpen, Peacock has a 16.88 ERA with two walks and two strikeouts in 2 2/3 innings of work and has not factored into a decision.

The Jaguars are 18-10 on the spring and took two games at Louisiana-Monroe over the weekend. South Alabama lost the finale to the Warhawks 4-3.

Mark Calvi‘s club is 2-1 against the SEC this season defeating both Alabama (3-0) and Auburn (7-4) in Mobile while losing to Arkansas, 7-0.

The Jaguars are batting .291 with four homers and averaging 5.8 runs. USA sports a .977 fielding percentage and are 41-of-52 on base thefts.

Freshman utility man Jason Cryar leads the Jags with a .462 average while senior third baseman Bud Collura is collected 39 hits. Junior first baseman Daniel Martinez has half the team’s long balls and senior left fielder Adam Ballew tops the club with 24 RBI. Sophomore centerfielder Cole Billingsley is 11-of-13 on stolen base tries.

South Alabama’s hurlers have a 3.29 ERA with 212 strikeouts and 99 walks in 254.1 innings of work. Their opposition is hitting .250 against them with 11 home runs.

Senior Ben Taylor and sophomore Matt Sharp still have flawless ERA’s out of the bullpen while senior Kevin Hill has notched 27 strikeouts. Taylor and junior Cody Van Aken closed out two games apiece.

Tonight’s game will be streamed on and can be heard on the MSU Baseball Radio Network.

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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