By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal
– Looking back: MSU defeated rival Ole Miss in the annual Governor’s Cup game, 6-1. Then it split the first two games against No. 2 South Carolina, losing 8-2 on Friday and winning 5-3 on Saturday.
The Gamecocks went off Sunday in a 13-4 win to hand MSU its fifth SEC series loss in six tries this season. Three of those series losses have come against teams ranked in the top five nationally.
– Looking ahead: MSU has extra time off this week, as far as baseball is concerned. It’s finals week at MSU, so there is no mid-week game. And because of commencement exercises, the Bulldogs won’t open their series against Alabama until Saturday, with the team’s first scheduled doubleheader since 1993.
The first game is scheduled for a 2 p.m. start. Sunday’s finale will begin at 1:30 p.m.
– Who’s hot: Third baseman Jarrod Parks leads the SEC with a .409 average and has a 13-game hitting streak; he’s hit safely in 33 of 39 games.
– Who’s not: Freshman second baseman Adam Frazier has been solid in the field – one error in 80 chances – but not at the plate. Over his last five games, he’s 0 for 16 batting and is hitting .188 after Sunday’s 0-for-5 showing.
– RPI watch: The visit from South Carolina gave MSU’s RPI a slight bump, from 29th to 27th in the country. The Bulldogs have eight wins against top-25 RPI teams.
Looking ahead to this weekend, Alabama (25-18, 8-10) is currently 37th in the nation. The Crimson Tide, which was swept by Florida over the weekend, travels to Southern Miss (No. 13 RPI) tonight.
– Bottom line: MSU is only two games out of first place in the Western Division, but a re-emerging issue is the Sunday starter’s role, since Nick Routt got promoted to Saturdays. The three freshmen who’ve given it a shot – C.T. Bradford, Evan Mitchell and Daryl Norris – have been battered.