First pitch at Trustmark Park is set for 6:30.
Mississippi State has won both games since the annual non-SEC series was rechristened as the Governor’s Cup in 2007. The series began as the Mayor’s Cup in 2000 and MSU holds a 15-14 advantage.
Ole Miss (25-10) will start senior left-hander Brett Bukvich (4-1, 3.86), a native of Brandon. Bukvich was unsuccessful in a Sunday start against Alabama in the second weekend of SEC play and his been one of the primary non-conference pitchers. He was the winning pitcher against MSU in Oxford in a regular SEC series two years ago.
The Bulldogs (19-17) will send junior righty Ricky Bowen (2-1, 5.40) to the hill. Against UAB last week, Bowen threw six scoreless innings in his first outing in three weeks.
Coming off series losses
The Rebels are coming off a series loss against South Carolina. They reach the midway point having won three of five SEC series.
The Gamecocks could have become the first team in six years to sweep Ole Miss in Oxford, but the Rebels got another solid pitching start from Scott Bittle and some late timely hitting.
Michael Hubbard and Taylor Hashman, both pinch-hitters, had RBI hits in a three-run seventh inning as the Rebels rallied for a 6-1 win on Sunday.
“Those were two big hits off the bench,” Rebel coach Mike Bianco said. “We’ve been doing that all year, and it’s nice to see you can do that when your back’s against the wall.
“I don’t think we played our best baseball this weekend, especially in the first two games, and if you don’t play well in this league, you will lose.”
MSU lost two of three at Tennessee over the weekend. It scored just three runs and hit .157 in the two losses but had 11 hits in a 10-9 win Sunday.
“When we found barrel and hit the ball hard, it went right at somebody,” MSU coach John Cohen said. “And their (pitchers) did a fine job.”
Ole Miss and Mississippi State will play will play their annual SEC weekend series on May 8-10 in Oxford.