As the calendar turns to April, we look back on the busy week that was and what lies ahead in the world of Bulldog sports.
The Bulldogs went into last week with their RPI in the 130s. Another bad week and SEC series loss would all but doom their chances at making a regional. With a trip to South Alabama and a home series with #20 South Carolina on the schedule, the time was now for the Diamond Dogs. The Bulldogs began the week with a disappointing 8-7 extra innings loss to South Alabama in Mobile on Tuesday. A week after having a world of offensive trouble, it was the pitching and defense that let the Bulldogs down in Mobile. This loss made the South Carolina series all the more important with not much reason for optimism.
However, sometimes the only thing that can be said is “That’s baseball”. Following the loss on Tuesday, the Bulldogs responded with their best offensive performance of the season with a 13-2 victory in game 1 over the Gamecocks. The next day saw the Bulldogs clinch the series with a 7-5 victory in which the Bulldogs made a 2-out error hurt, put 6 on the board in the inning. Unfortunately, Mississippi State could not complete the sweep as poor pitching plagued the Dogs in a 13-7 defeat in the finale.
It was a huge weekend as the Bulldogs won their 1st SEC series of the season. The pitching woes in the finale killed some of the momentum the Bulldogs had built up with the 1st two victories. While the weekly record was only 2-2, last weekend was a major step in the right direction on the Bulldogs’ march towards trying to reach postseason play.
Coming off last week’s important slate of games, Mississippi State will follow it up with 4 more crucial road games in their season. The week will begin on Tuesday in Memphis as the Bulldogs will take on the Tigers. The game will be played at downtown Autozone Park and there should be a nice contingent of maroon clad fans in the stands. Memphis is coming off a series victory over nationally-ranked Houston and this game, as are all remaining games, will be very crucial in getting the RPI up where it needs to be for at-large teams.
After the midweek contest, the Bulldogs will travel to College Station to battle the nation’s #2 team, Texas A&M. Winning the series will be no small task but would serve huge in the RPI numbers. The Aggies just swept a rain-shortened 2-game series at Kentucky over the weekend and come in red-hot with an astounding 30-2 record. Realistically, the Bulldogs should take 1 of 3 with the Aggies and consider it a decent weekend. However, with the position we’re in, it would be an enormous boost to the at-large chances if the Dogs are able to take 2 of 3 from one of the best teams in the nation.
The Bulldogs will have a lot of fan support behind them Tuesday in Memphis. This game can and has to be won to keep any momentum from last week going. The upcoming weekend will be a major test. However, I believe the Bulldogs are talented enough to win the series. With an important week ahead for the Diamond Dogs, we’ll know more about their prospects at the NCAA tournament next week on the article.
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Spring practice is in full swing for the Bulldogs and last week saw the team hold their first scrimmage on Friday that gave us insight on what we might see next season. The running back position looked strong with Dontavian Lee and Aeris Williams each having nice days. A solid showing from these two helped eliminate some of the doubt Bulldog fans had after the NFL departure of Josh Robinson. Nick Fitzgerald got the nod as 2nd team QB and did a very nice job handling the offense on multiple scoring drives. Of course, Dak Prescott put in his work and performed at the high level that Bulldog fans have grown accustomed to during his entire career.
Overall, it was a nice measuring point midway through spring practice. Several players are gaining valuable work and experience that will be important during crunch time in the fall.
The upcoming week will see the Bulldogs hit the field four times. Normal practices will be held Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday leading up to another scrimmage in Davis Wade Saturday morning. The Bulldogs once again made it through another week free of major injury (knock on wood), which is always key this time of year. Spring practice will end with the annual spring game on April 18th at Davis Wade. We’re only 5 short months away from kickoff in Hattiesburg.
For more coverage on spring practice, listen in to Double Coverage on Bulldog Sports Radio.
Last Week/This Week
Vann Stuedeman’s team just keeps getting it done. I combined the last week and this week portions because the team is still finishing up a Saturday-Sunday-Monday set at Arkansas. The Bulldogs have already taken the first two games and will look for the sweep tonight at 6 PM CT on the SEC Network. Mississippi State already won a game at Lipscomb during the midweek and are looking to their first SEC sweep of the season tonight. The team returns home for a single game Wednesday night against LSU before traveling to take on Mizzou next weekend.
The Softball Dogs have won their last 4 looking for number 5 tonight. This team is playing very well now and deserves to have a big crowd as they take on #2 LSU Wednesday night at the MSU Softball Complex.
Another note before we go, the men’s tennis team is red-hot, winning their last 5 matches. One of the 5 includes handing #6 Georgia their 1st SEC loss of the season.
There’s a lot of winning going on at Mississippi State right now. It’s a great time to be a Bulldog fan. Hail State!