MSU vs. LSU Series Preview


Jun 8, 2013; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; LSU Tigers outfielder Raph Rhymes (4) is congratulated by teammate Jared Foster (17) after scoring a run against the Oklahoma Sooners in the second inning during the Baton Rouge super regional of the 2013 NCAA baseball tournament at Alex Box Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

Mississippi State takes a trip down to Baton Rouge for a 3-game set vs. the vaunted Tigers. Well, they are supposed to be vaunted. Somehow they find themselves 3-5-1 in the SEC and dropping all the way down to #16 in the Collegiate Baseball poll. MSU is #10 in that poll – in the preseason this looked like a monster matchup as MSU was ranked #2 and LSU #3 in that very poll. But we move on, and it’s still a big series.

State it tied for 1st in the West at 6-3, but that’s only 2.5 games ahead of LSU who is in last – the table could completely turn if the Tigers sweep. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen. The Bulldogs will be looking for their 4th SEC series win in as many tries against a program we’ve struggled to win series against.

As you saw in Andrew’s forecast, rain/thunderstorms/lightning are in store Saturday and the rain could stick around for Sunday as well. It doesn’t look good to get a full series in, so the weather will be something to keep an eye on, even for Game 1.


Game 1: Friday at 6:30 (CSS, ESPN3) – Ross Mitchell (5-1, 1.55) vs. Jared Poche’ (5-2, 2.61)

Game 2: Saturday at 6:30 (ESPNU) – Trevor Fitts (2-1, 3.09) vs. Aaron Nola (5-1, 0.55)

Game 3: Sunday at 1:00 (ESPN3) – TBA vs. TBA

Now, there are several caveats to those pitching matchups. Aaron Nola is LSU’s Friday night starter but Manieri moved him to Saturday because of “rest” and to face Ross Mitchell. Then Preston Brown gets hurt so Mitchell moves up to Friday, and LSU moves Nola back to Friday to face Mitchell. Now we’re unsure if Mitchell will pitch Friday or Saturday. A game of cat and mouse for sure.  As a fan I’d like to see Mitchell vs. Nola, and if I were either of the coaches I’d throw them both out there Game 1 because Saturday’s weather has a real chance to put a dent in their start. If they pitch 4-5 innings and then the rains come you could have a situation where they are done for the series after only throwing half of a game or less.

Injury concerns:

  1. Preston Brown will miss his spot in the rotation on Friday due to a minor shoulder issue. He may or may not be available during this series.
  2. Will C.T. Bradford be back? He hasn’t played since the UGA series due to a hip that has bothered him all year. Derrick Armstrong has played exceptionally well in his stead, however.







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State has faced some stout pitching the last three weekends for sure. Vandy’s WHIP was 0.88 and UPig’s was 1.01 coming into the game. Aaron Nola is about as good of a pitcher as you’re going to find…but the same was said about Tyler Beede as well – that game ended up 17-2 in the Dawgs favor.

Is there any bad blood left from last year? After Mason Katz was killing MSU in the first two games, Kendall Graveman went head-hunting in Game 3. He missed badly but LSU coach Paul Manieri got his panties in a wad…

"I thought (the umpire) should’ve thrown (Graveman) out of the game. You don’t have to give him a warning. You’re going to penalize (Katz) because he’s playing the game right way, he plays the game hard and he’s swinging the bat good so we’re now going to throw a ball behind a kid’s head? That’s different from pitching inside and wanting to work both sides of the plate and keep a kid uncomfortable. To throw it behind a kid’s head, I can’t respect people who do things like that, and I’m sorry, I just never will. I could understand why they’re frustrated, I mean, we beat them every year and they get tired of getting beat by us. To me, there’s no place in college baseball for doing that."

Both Graveman and Katz are now playing professional baseball but this could spill over into 2014 if the right (or wrong) buttons are pushed. We’ll see.

Should be a great series, hopefully we’ll see all three games. Hail State!