The No. 3 Arkansas Razorbacks (20-2, 3-0) and Mississippi State Bulldogs (15-7, 1-2) enter into their second SEC West baseball series of the 2012 season this weekend in Starkville, Miss.
Mississippi State stumbled through a tough weekend series against No. 11 LSU with four starters out. The Bulldogs, previously ranked No. 21, went 1-4 last week having to rely on true freshman outfielder Tyler Fullerton, true freshman infielder Phillip Casey, and redshirt freshman infielder Demarcus Henderson to fill out their lineup.
MSU is 2-5 in their last seven games with losses to Mercer (1), Southeast Louisiana (2), and LSU (2). They did salvage their weekend series against LSU by winning Sunday’s game.
The Hogs enter their weekend road series against the Bulldogs with a 10-game winning streak after wrapping up an undefeated nine-game home stand on Wednesday against Nevada with a 10-2 victory.
The Hogs swept their first SEC series of the season against Alabama last weekend.
The Bulldogs presents a challenge beyond finishing only a game behind the Hogs during the 2011 season in the SEC West. Arkansas has played 19 of their 22 games in Fayetteville so far this season.
Arkansas played in the Houston College Classic at Minute Maid Park March 2-4 finishing the event 2-1.
Arkansas head coach Dave Van Horn will get a chance to see how his team performs on the road in a tough SEC environment this weekend against MSU and next weekend when they travel toBaton Rouge to take on LSU.
D.J. Baxendale (5-0, 2.30 ERA) will face SEC pitcher of the week Chris Stratton (4-0, 2.12) in the opening game of the three-game series.
In his first start of the season Stratton threw 8.2 innings for the Bulldogs against LSU last Friday striking out 17 Tiger players. Stratton received a no decision after the Tigers took the game in extra innings.
First pitch from Dudy Noble Field is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CST on Friday. Saturday’s game-time is 2 p.m. and Sunday’s televised game on SportSouth starts at 12 p.m.
Ryne Stanek (5-0, 1.52 ERA) will get the ball on Saturday and Randall Font (1-1, 4.82 ERA) will throw on Sunday for the Hogs.
MSU does not have a player on their squad from Arkansas.
The Bulldogs have seven players hitting .300 or better- Daryl Norris .375, Trey Porter .349, Adam Frazier .348, Demarcus Henderson .347, C.T. Bradford .309, and Wes Rea .309. Tyler Fullerton has started and appeared in five games posting a .412 batting average.
Trey Porter leads MSU with four homeruns
Wes Rea leads MSU with 18 RBIs, Rea also leads his team in strikeouts with 26
Adam Frazier has 10 doubles to lead MSU
Chris Stratton (Tupelo, MS) leads the Bulldogs with a 4-0 record, 2.12 ERA among starters, and strikeouts even though he only has one credited start during the 2012 season.
Kendall Graveman (2-0, 2.30 ERA), Nick Routt (1-2, 4.05 ERA), and Will Cox (1-1, 5.62 ERA) have been the primary starters for MSU this season.
Caleb Reed leads Mississippi State with nine appearances out of the bullpen, sports a 0-3 record with a 2.20 ERA, and leads the team with nine saves.
In 10 appearances, nine out of the bullpen, Razorback pitcher Barrett Astin has a 2-0 record with six saves and a 0.00 ERA.
Arkansas Razorback left fielder Matt Vinson made a homerun robbing catch againstAlabamain the first inning of last Friday’s game. Vinson’s catch was the No. 1 play on ESPN’s daily top plays of the day.
Last week Jacob Morris hit .429 over five games
Dominic Ficociello hit .333 during the five games played last week. He scored six runs while drawing seven walks.
Topics: Arkansas, Arkansas Razorbacks, Baseball, Bulldogs Baseball, Chris Stratton, College Baseball, D.J. Baxendale, Dave Van Horn, Dominic Ficociell, Fayetteville, Jacob Morris, Matt Vinson, Mississippi State, MSU Baseball, Randall Font, Razorbacks, SEC, University Of Arkansas