Mississippi State enters SEC play on a roll.
The No. 6 Bulldogs (16-1) routed Grambling State 18-1 on Wednesday to notch their 12th straight win, but things will get much tougher this weekend as they travel to face No. 7 Florida. The Gators picked up a big win over instate rival and No. 6 Florida State with a 20-7 victory at home on Tuesday. It marks the ninth win in a row for the Gators over Florida State on the baseball diamond. Th Gators are 13-5 going into SEC play.
The Gators finished the game with 20 runs on 17 hits with 2 errors. The Seminoles finished with 7 runs on 6 hits along with 3 errors.
First pitch for game one of the three-game series is set for 6:30 p.m. Friday at Alfred A. McKeathan Stadium.
Against GSU, senior Elijah MacNamee homered and drove in five runs and freshman Luke Hancock drove in three as the Bulldogs pounded out 18 hits.
Six MSU pitchers combined on a six-hitter with 11 strikeouts. Eric Carantola (3-0) worked two innings to pick up the victory.
Mississippi State senior center-fielder Jake Mangum is now one of five Bulldogs to reach 300 career hits. Mangum went 4-for-5 in the Bulldogs win over Grambling State on Wednesday.
MacNamee went 6-of-12 in the three-game series against Maine, and he went 2-for-3 with two runs and five RBI against Grambling. Having the clean-up hitter continue to swing the bat with confidence will be critical for Mississippi State in conference games.
nOle Miss: The No. 9 Rebels open league play at home at 6:30 p.m. Friday against Alabama. They lost two midweek games to No. 7 Louisville.
The Rebels (12-5) were out-hit the Cardinals 13-8 on Wednesday but again had some problems on the mound.
Alabama remained unranked in this week’s major polls, but that won’t be the case next week if it can keep its 12-game winning streak alive this week after a road trip to Ole Miss.
“I think that’s why we’re all here,” Alabama coach Brad Bohannon said. “Every coach, every player, if you’re genuinely competitive, you want to compete with and against the best and it starts with one of the best with Ole Miss, who is in the top 10 in all the polls. Just really excited to see how our team responds to being in a tough environment against a great opponent and I expect to really compete well. We have a good team, and I’m excited to find out how good this weekend.”
The first four weeks of the season have answered a few questions about Alabama, including the weekend rotation. Senior Sam Finnerty will start the Friday night game, followed by junior Brock Love on Saturday and junior Wil Freeman on Sunday.
Finnerty and Love have played against SEC competition before, but Freeman, a junior college transfer, will be facing a new kind of competition.
“We have a lot of new guys but throughout the fall and the spring, we knew we had a good team,” Love said. “We look forward to going and playing a team like Ole Miss.
and seeing how we stack up against them.”