Where Mississippi State Baseball Stands After Two Weekends of SEC Play


The Mississippi State Baseball team is off to a good start after two weekends of SEC play, but still have a long way to go to erase the memory of 2015.

John Cohen and the Mississippi State baseball team have made great strides in proving the 2015 season was a blip on the radar for one of the best programs in the history of college baseball. But the team still has issues before we can rest easy.

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With two series of SEC play in the books, the Mississippi State Bulldogs have two series wins. The baseball team had an impressive opening series win against the Vanderbilt Commodores in Nashville. The team followed that up with a solid series win over the Georgia Bulldogs bringing their record in SEC play to 4-2 and 17-7-1 overall.

Here are the current standings in the SEC as we enter Week 3 of play for both divisions. The West stacks up as follows.

  1. Texas A&M, 4-2 in the SEC and 20-3 overall
  2. Mississippi State, 4-2 in the SEC and 17-7-1 overall
  3. Alabama, 4-2 in the SEC and 15-8 overall
  4. Arkansas, 3-3 in the SEC and 18-6 overall
  5. Ole Miss, 2-4 in the SEC and 20-5 overall
  6. LSU, 2-4 in the SEC and 16-7 overall
  7. Auburn, 1-5 in the SEC and 11-13 overall

Over in the East, here is how the division shapes up early in conference play.

  1. South Carolina, 6-0 in the SEC and 23-2 overall
  2. Kentucky, 4-2 in the SEC and 17-6 overall
  3. Florida, 4-2 in the SEC and 23-3 overall
  4. Vanderbilt, 4-2 in the SEC and 20-4 overall
  5. Tennessee, 2-4 in the SEC and 14-9 overall
  6. Georgia, 2-4 in the SEC and 15-10 overall
  7. Missouri, 0-6 in the SEC and 13-12 overall

The West has been just as tight as many people expected it to be after the first two weekends. The Mississippi State baseball team is in a three way tie for first place, but they have the toughest stretch of their schedule coming up in conference play.

Ole Miss will travel to take on Mississippi State at Dudy Noble Field. After getting off to a red hot start, the Rebels ran into a buzz saw this past weekend and were swept by the South Carolina Gamecocks. Ole Miss may not be in desperation mode just yet, but a series loss would put them pretty close to it. Cohen and company can expect the Rebels best effort this coming weekend.

Then the Bulldogs will travel to Florida, welcome Texas A&M, and head to Baton Rouge to take on LSU. All four teams the Mississippi State baseball team is about to play should be top 20 teams or higher when they play them. Coming out of the 12 games with a 6-6 record would be acceptable as the last four series present opportunities to accumulate a lot of wins.

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The biggest question mark for the Mississippi State baseball team so far has been if Wes Johnson will find a way to manage the pitching staff on Sundays to give the Bulldogs a chance to win. Dakota Hudson has proven he is capable of being a legitimate Friday Night ace. Austin Sexton is capable of putting the team in a position to win on Saturday. Sunday has been a different story.

Both losses for the Mississippi State baseball team have come on Sunday and have seen the pitching staff surrender double digit run totals in both games. Finding a third and fourth starter who can perform at an adequate level will be the difference between this team being a good team that makes it to a regional and an elite team that goes to a Super Regional or possibly even Omaha.

Mississippi State doesn’t need their third and fourth starters to be great. They just need to be able to give the team five or six innings while only giving up three or four runs in the process. The Mississippi State baseball team has shown they can do enough with the bats to get plenty of runs off of the other team’s starter to win those games if the pitching staff can limit the damage on their side of the field.

There are a lot of things to like about the Mississippi State baseball team so far in 2016. But as we all saw last season, things can change quickly.