MSU welcomes Valparaiso for its final SEC tuneup n STARKVILLE – Mississippi State will host Valparaiso today in a day-night doubleheader, the Bulldogs' final games before opening SEC play this weekend against South Carolina

COLLEGE BASEBALL
MSU welcomes Valparaiso
for its final SEC tuneup
n STARKVILLE – Mississippi State will host Valparaiso today in a day-night doubleheader, the Bulldogs’ final games before opening SEC play this weekend against South Carolina. Game 1 is at 2:30 p.m. at Dudy Noble Field, and Game 2 starts at 6:30.
MSU (8-4) is coming off a trip to Honolulu, where it lost three of four against Hawaii. First-year coach John Cohen continues to search for the right mix in his lineup – only infielder Connor Powers has started all 12 games.
Powers leads State with a .341 average to go with three home runs and 15 RBIs.
Valparaiso (4-6), of the Horizon League, has lost five straight, including a three-game sweep at the hands of Memphis over the weekend.
In Tuesday’s games:
n Ole Miss 8, Austin Peay 7: At Oxford, pinch-hitter David Phillips hit a solo home to lead off he bottom of the ninth to give the Rebels the victory.
Austin Peay (5-7) had scored twice in the top of the ninth off ace reliever Scott Bittle to tie the game. Both runs scored on a bunt play.
Kevin Mort and Matt Smith each had three hits. Brett Basham was 2-for-4 with two RBI.
The two teams will play again at 6:30 p.m. today.
n Southern Miss 5, New Orleans 2: At New Orleans, the Golden Eagles scored four runs in the eighth inning to grab the victory.
Brian Dozier (Itawamba AHS) tied the game with and RBI single in the eighth. James Ewing (2-for-4, three RBI) followed with a two-RBI double, scoring Dozier and Kameron Brunty (wlake) to give USM the lead for good. Joey Archer inished the scoring with an RBI single.
New Orleans scored single runs the second and third innings, then was shut out the final six frames. Relievers Cody Schlagel (3-1) and Collin Cargill limited UNO to a hit each in the last 41/3 innings.
PRO GOLF
Garcia has a shot
at No. 1 in the world
n DORAL, Fla — For the first time in his career, Sergio Garcia has a mathematical chance to be No. 1 in the world.
Tiger Woods has been atop the world ranking for the past 144 weeks – dating to June 12, 2005 – and his 21.542 points were more than twice his nearest challenger after winning the U.S. Open in June.
But he missed the next eight months following knee surgery, and while Garcia has only won twice since then, the Spaniard has been runner-up four times, including two FedEx Cup playoff events and the PGA Championship.
Garcia, who was 16.278 points behind Woods after the U.S. Open, trails him by a mere 1.59 points. To become No. 1 in the world, Garcia would have to win the CA Championship and have Woods finish 27th or worse.
PRO HOCKEY
NHL general managers
weigh in on fighting
n NAPLES, Fla. — NHL general managers think some fighting in their league needs to be eliminated or at least reduced.
They’re recommending a rule change that would give a 10-minute misconduct penalty to players who fight immediately after a faceoff. The 10-minute misconduct could also be applied to any other fight a referee believes was staged.
“I’m kind of offended by the fact that it’s a staged fight,” said Minnesota Wild general manager Doug Risebrough, a 13-year NHL veteran. “The idea is that players have to be involved in the game. In staged fights, there is an unspoken understanding between teams allowing players to tangle with each other, usually during inconsequential parts of the game.
The general managers spoke during the second day of their annual meetings. Their recommendations would have to be approved by the NHL’s competition committee and Board of Governors before the 2009-10 season.
Daily Journal, wire reports

Brad Locke