Mississippi State: 19-9 (4-5 SEC)

By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal

• Looking back: After rolling to an 18-0 win against Alabama A&M on Wednesday, MSU experienced a familiar and unpleasant feeling at Georgia, losing all three games a week after sweeping Auburn. The scores: 4-1, 4-3 and 4-1. State was swept six times last season.
• Looking ahead: The Bulldogs travel to Pearl today for a 6:30 p.m. showdown against No. 18 Southern Miss (22-5) at Trustmark Park. Then it’s back home for a three-game set with No. 4 Florida (24-5, 7-2 SEC), which swept State in Gainesville last year.
• Who’s hot: MSU’s bullpen is shaping up nicely. In the Georgia series, 10 different relievers gave up just four earned runs in 92/3 innings (3.72 ERA). That group gave State’s bats a chance in all three games, but the rallies just didn’t materialize.
• Who’s not: The entire offense went in the tank. Coach John Cohen thought his team swung the bats well, but after posting a .387 average against Auburn, MSU hit .200 at Georgia.
• RPI watch: Between facing a weak Aamp&M team and getting swept by Georgia, MSU plummeted 18 spots in this week’s RPI rankings to 45th in the country, according to boydsworld.com. Looking ahead, Southern Miss is No. 2 in the nation, while Florida is No. 1.
• Bottom line: MSU just couldn’t catch a break in Athens. The Bulldogs hit into several line-drive outs, while Georgia benefited from some wind-aided home runs. But that’s baseball. Considering how much tougher the road gets this week, State’s going to need to catch more than a few breaks.
Brad Locke