Oral Roberts preview

Sophomore second baseman Ryan Gridley has started all 17 games for Mississippi State this season and is hitting .323 with a home run and 12 RBIs. (Kelly Price/ Mississippi State)

Sophomore second baseman Ryan Gridley has started all 17 games for Mississippi State this season and is hitting .323 with a home run and 12 RBIs. (Kelly Price/ Mississippi State)

No. 15 Mississippi State gets a fast opportunity at redemption following Tuesday night’s embarrassing loss to Eastern Kentucky. The Bulldogs are back on the diamond tonight at 6:30 p.m. hosting Oral Roberts.

MSU blew a six-run lead in the eighth inning against the Colonels on Tuesday and would eventually fall 16-12 in 10-innings, falling to 12-4-1 on the year.

Oral Roberts (7-8) arrives in Starkville coming off a Tuesday night loss as well. The Golden Eagles fell 8-3 at Jacksonville State, their third consecutive loss.

State won its only meeting against Oral Roberts 3-2 in Starkville in 2013 behind three hits apiece from Adam Frazier and Alex Detz.

John Cohen‘s club is hitting .324 on the year with 13 home runs and scoring 7.6 runs per game. The Diamond Dogs also maintain a .980 fielding percentage and are 22 of 25 on stolen base attempts.

Junior catcher Jack Kruger leads Mississippi State with 25 hits and batting. 410 while sophomore designated hitter Brent Rooker has driven in 20 runs. Junior centerfielder Jacob Robson is 10-for-10 on base thefts and is also riding a 12-game hitting streak.

The Bulldogs’ hurlers have a 3.64 staff earned run average with 170 strikeouts and 68 walks in 151 innings of work. Opponents are hitting just .234 against them with 11 long balls.

Sophomore Ryan Rigby and freshmen Ryan Cyr and Jared Padgett still have flawless ERA’s while junior Dakota Hudson tops the team with 32 strikeouts. Junior Reid Humphreys has recorded two of MSU’s five saves.

Freshman right-hander Keegan James will draw his second start of the spring tonight. In three outings, James is 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA, two strikeouts and a walk in 5 1/3 frames.

The Golden Eagles will go with sophomore righty Cale Tims, who is making his first start of the year. Tims has a 10.80 ERA in 1 2/3 innings of work over two appearances.

Oral Roberts pitching staff sports a 5.47 ERA with 93 strikeouts and 88 walks over 131.2 innings.

Junior Jake Morrison holds a perfect ERA while freshman Josh McMinn leads the team with 16 strikeouts. Junior Brady Womacks has three of the Golden Eagles’ six saves.

Ryan Folmar‘s roster is batting .289 with 10 homers and are averaging 5.7 runs. Oral Roberts holds a .961 fielding percentage and is 14-of-20 on steals.

Junior outfielder Trent Shelton leads the Golden Eagles hitting .500 while sophomore designated hitter Matt Whatley has a team-high 22 hits and 14 RBIs. Sophomore second baseman Nick Roark has slugged four homers and junior left fielder Michael Hungate has swiped five bases in seven attempts.

Tonight’s game will be streamed 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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