There is no denying that Mississippi State is struggling and in jeopardy of missing out on the postseason entirely.
The Diamond Dogs have lost six of their first seven SEC series and seven of their last eight games overall. MSU is coming off its worst loss of the season, an 11-1 setback to Ole Miss in the Governor’s Cup in Pearl Tuesday night.
However, the Bulldogs won’t have long to lick their wounds with top-ranked LSU coming to town for a three-game homestand starting tonight at 6:30 p.m.
“It’s getting to the point where we have to win and win now,” said MSU pitcher Lucas Laster. “We just have to take it one game at a time and get a win every single day.”
The series continues Friday at 7 p.m. and concludes Saturday at 3 p.m. The first two games will be televised by ESPNU and the finale on ESPN2.
State enters the series at 23-22 overall and 7-14 inside conference play. The Diamond Dogs are tied with Tennessee for the final spot to qualify for the SEC Tournament.
The LSU series will be Mississippi State’s final time at Dudy Noble Field as the last two series call for the Bulldogs to travel to Ole Miss and Tennessee.
“LSU is always a big rivalry between us and them” said MSU outfielder Cody Brown. “They draw the large crowds down there and we draw the large crowds here. Being able to play it here at home in front of our fans is obviously a big plus.”
The Diamond Dogs lead the overall series 206-173-1 against LSU including an 112-70-1 record in Starkville. The Tigers have dominated things of late winning the last eight series against State including a sweep in Baton Rouge last year in which they outscored the Bulldogs 22-5.
LSU is 38-7 on the year and are a consensus No. 1 among all six collegiate baseball polls. The Tigers are 14-6 in league play and have won their last four SEC series.
“They’re a team that’s on a roll,” said MSU coach John Cohen. “We’ve had a lot of that here recently in the second half. I think our guys want to prepare as best they can and want to play well against a very good opponent.”
LSU won 6-1 at home against Alcorn State on Tuesday only allowing two hits.
PROBABLE PITCHING ROTATION
Thursday: LSU LHP Jared Poche’ (7-1, 2.74 ERA) vs. MSU LHP Lucas Laster (4-3, 3.16 ERA)
Friday: LSU RHP Alex Lange (7-0, 1.86 ERA) vs. MSU RHP Preston Brown (5-5, 3.76 ERA)
Saturday: LSU RHP Austin Bain (1-2, 2.83 ERA) vs. MSU TBA