Alcorn State preview

Senior outfielder Mike Smith has appeared in two of the Diamond Dogs games this season. (Kelly Price/ Mississippi State)

Senior outfielder Mike Smith has appeared in two of the Diamond Dogs games this season. (Kelly Price/ Mississippi State)

No. 20 Mississippi State is hoping inclement weather will hold off long enough for its midweek match-up with Alcorn State at 6 p.m. today.

The Bulldogs’ game against Memphis last Tuesday was rained out and rescheduled for April 13.

MSU (6-2) is coming off a four-game round robin sweep over the weekend against UMass Lowell and Nicholls State while Alcorn State (1-7) went 0-3 at the Governor’s Challenge losing to Austin Peay, Missouri State and Connecticut by a combined score of 50-4.

The Diamond Dogs are 14-0 all-time against Alcorn State having outscored the Braves 207-38 in the series.

Mississippi State won 10-2 over the Braves in Starkville last season as Ryan Gridley went 4-for-5 at the plate with a double and two RBIs.

John Cohen‘s club enters the contest hitting .326 with three home runs and averaging 7.4 runs per game. The Bulldogs rank third nationally with 26 doubles and are 12 of 14 on stolen base attempts. MSU maintains a .974 fielding percentage and are 12 of 14 on stolen base attempts.

Junior designated hitter Jack Kruger paces the Diamond Dogs at the plate batting .517 with six doubles, two homers and 11 RBIs. Junior centerfielder Jacob Robson leads the team going 5-for-5 on steals.

The Diamond Dog hurlers hold a 2.83 staff earned run average with 89 strikeouts and 31 walks over 70 innings. Opponents are hitting .256 against Mississippi State with two long balls.

Blake Smith, Ryan Rigby, Ryan Cyr, Paul Young, Jared Padgett and Reid Humphreys all have a spotless ERA with Smith and Humphreys both earning a save. Dakota Hudson and Austin Sexton are tied for the team lead with 17 strikeouts.

Junior left-hander Vance Tatum will draw the start tonight. Tatum sports a 3.00 ERA in two relief outings this spring with nine strikeouts and three walks in six frames of work. It will be his first start since April 12, 2015.

Alcorn State has not announced its starting pitcher for tonight.

The Braves are batting .241 on the year with a pair of homers and scoring 3.8 runs a game. Bretton Richardson‘s roster has a .933 fielding percentage and is 8 of 10 on base thefts.

Jordan Sears and Jesus Vasquez top the Braves hitting .500 while Walter Rios has collected a dozen hits. LaDerik Williams and Cedric Walker have accounted for both of Alcorn State’s home runs and Williams has swiped five bases in as many tries.

ASU’s pitching staff has compiled an 11.28 ERA with 60 strikeouts and 50 walks in 67 innings. Opposing hitters are batting .381 against them with 10 homers.

Patrick McMahon and Der’Vincent Hamilton have perfect ERA’s while Conrado Skepple has a team-high 14 strikeouts.

Tonight’s game is available on SEC 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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