One week can make a big difference in the ever-changing SEC baseball ranks.
No. 6 Mississippi State knows all about that. It has gone from one extreme to the other over the past two weeks.
The Bulldogs went from being swept at Arkansas to sweeping Georgia last weekend. MSU will now try to keep trending in the right direction as it travels to No. 14 Texas A&M for a three-game series starting Thursday at 6 p.m. on the SEC Network.
“We’ve talked a lot lately about being on an even keel because you can get really down after an Arkansas or really up after Georgia,” said MSU coach Chris Lemonis. “The reality is we’re going to play another great team on the road in a great environment. They’re confident but they also know we play in the best league in the country.”
MSU is tied for second in the West with Ole Miss and LSU. Those two teams square off this weekend in Baton Rouge in another crucial three-game series.
Game 2 in College Station, Texas, is set for Friday at 6:35 p.m. and Saturday’s finale will start at 2 p.m. on the SEC Network.
The Aggies have also been on a bit of a roller coaster ride of late, having won a series at South Carolina two weeks ago only to be swept at Ole Miss after a pair of walk-off losses.
Texas A&M (31-15-1, 11-9-1 SEC) was able to bounce back by trouncing Sam Houston State on the road 15-5 in seven innings on Tuesday. The Aggies’ pitching staff ranks second in the SEC with a 3.05 earned run average and 500 strikeouts.
The Aggies were able to take two games from State in Starkville last season, but the Bulldogs still hold a slight 16-14 advantage in the all-time series.
Mississippi State (36-9, 13-8 SEC) will switch up its pitching plans with the short week. Junior right-hander Keegan James (3-1, 4.36 ERA) enters the rotation and will start Thursday night’s game against Texas A&M junior southpaw pitcher John Doxakis (5-2, 1.81 ERA).
MSU junior left-hander Ethan Small (4-1, 2.10) and freshman righty JT Ginn (7-2, 3.38) will pitch on their normal days of the week on Friday and Saturday, respectively, against sophomore lefty Asa Lacy (6-3, 2.23) and sophomore righty Christian Roa (2-1, 2.76), respectively.