Mississippi State Bulldogs News: Gordon To Start Friday, Previewing The Regional

Sep 19, 2015; Starkville, MS, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs live mascot Bully XXI (Jak) is seen before the game against the Northwestern State Demons at Davis Wade Stadium. Mississippi State won 62-13. Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 19, 2015; Starkville, MS, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs live mascot Bully XXI (Jak) is seen before the game against the Northwestern State Demons at Davis Wade Stadium. Mississippi State won 62-13. Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports /

From pitching news heading into the weekend and a sprinkle of football, here is a fresh batch of Mississippi State news for you to enjoy on this lovely June morning.

Riley Self will get the ball with game on the line in regional – Will Sammon, The Clarion-Ledger

Will Sammon writes a great article on Riley Self’s preparation and mindset heading into the NCAA Tournament. Cannizaro says “he is not scared at all”.

"Andy Cannizaro has made it clear multiple times who will get the ball for Mississippi State this weekend when a game is on the line.That is Riley Self.“He is not scared at all,” Cannizaro said. “He wants the baseball in the biggest moments of the game.”Added Self: “I’ve always tried to have that tough mentality that, yeah, I have to get this guy out.”So, from mental and emotional standpoints, there is a belief Self is up for the challenge starting at 6 p.m. Friday in the Hattiesburg regional when MSU plays South Alabama. Self has the track record and talent to get the job done, too. The former Dandy Dozen selection has a 3.89 ERA and 1.27 WHIP with 58 strikeouts in 44 innings."

Mississippi State pushes ace to Saturday, will start Gordon – Will Sammon, The Clarion-Ledger

With speculation of who Mississippi State will throw game one, Sammon reports that Cannizaro will roll with Cole Gordon Friday evening to get thing started for Regional play. Gordon is coming off an excellent performance against Florida, can he carry that over?

"While Gordon always had fastball control, his fastball command has improved, according to MSU pitching coach Gary Henderson. That means he is getting movement on his fastball while still throwing it for strikes.“In that particular game, he was not only able to command his fastball on both sides of the plate but he also had secondary pitches he could throw for a strikes,” Henderson said. “If you can control both sides and have a secondary pitch, now you’re competitive. And that’s what he was.”Gordon, a right-hander, will likely see several left-handed batters in South Alabama’s lineup, which would give more reason to start Pilkington. While MSU has played South Alabama three times this year, Gordon never made an appearance in those games. Pilkington didn’t allow a run in 7 2/3 innings in his start earlier this season against the Jaguars."

More from Maroon and White Nation

Dusty Smith Named Head Men’s Golf Coach – HailState.com

Mississippi State has hired a premier coach to take over their Men’s Golf program. Dusty Smith comes to Starkville after his success in Nashville.

"One of the top assistant coaches in the nation will be heading the Mississippi State men’s golf program as Director of Athletics John Cohen tabbed Vanderbilt assistant Dusty Smith as the Bulldogs’ eighth head coach.Since joining Vanderbilt in 2011, Smith has assisted the Commodores to 12 team tournament titles, with 10 players earning individual medalist honors. While at Vanderbilt, seven of his golfers earned All-America status, including three first-team selections. He also tutored 11 players to All-SEC accolades, with four earning first-team honors."

Mississippi State Tournament Preview: South Alabama Jaguars – Cooper Ashcraft, Maroon and White Nation

Ashcraft dives into his preview of Mississippi State’s first opponent of the weekend: South Alabama. Mississippi State has already played the Jags three times, but how did South’s season go?

"Recapping South Alabama’s seasonSouth Alabama finished the season with a 39-19 record and a 22-8 record in the Sun Belt. The Jaguars didn’t just do this against bad teams either. South finished the season 31st and 34th in non conference strength of schedule. South did struggle against teams ranked in the top 50 of the RPI though, going just 3-10 against those opponents.South Alabama finished half a game back of Coastal Carolina in the Sun Belt standings. The Jaguars would go onto dominate in the conference tournament, going 3-0 against Troy, Arkansas State, and Georgia Southern. South defeated Georgia Southern in the championship game by a score of 7-6.Notable wins on the season include wins over Mississippi State, LSU, Auburn, and defending champions Coastal Carolina."

Related Story: Previewing the South Alabama Jags

Mississippi State Baseball Tournament Preview: University of Illinois Chicago – Gardner Thornhill, Maroon and White Nation

Thornhill takes a look at the least-known team in the Regional, the UIC Flames. How did the team from Chicago fare against Power-5 opponents?

"Against Power 5 OpponentsUIC played the highest level of baseball competition 11 times, and they finished with a record of 6-5 against the top of college baseball.The Flames boast an impressive away series over NCAA Tournament team Vanderbilt, as well a 3 game sweep of Northwestern and a win over Georgia Tech. The Flames were swept by Missouri, as well as losing a game to Georgia Tech."

Related Story: Previewing the UIC Flames

Success Follows Cannizaro Even into Coaching Career – Robbie Faulk, Bulldawgs247

Robbie Faulk wrote a great story on Andy Cannizaro over at Bulldawgs247. I suggest you go and check it out.

"When he broke into the coaching ranks in 2014 with LSU, he was an instant hit. He helped the Tigers compete for SEC titles and set them up for a potential SEC Championship run this season where they won the Western Division, a share of the regular season championship and the Tournament title.Now as Mississipi State head coach, Cannizaro is experiencing even more success. Monday saw him become just the second Diamond Dawg head coach (Pat McMahon, 1998) to put MSU in a regional his first year on campus. He’s also totaled the second most wins in a debut season with McMahon’s 42 holding the mark.His first year on this level as a head coach is still surreal to him. When his team’s selection scrolled across the screen as he stood next to his wife and they held their two children, the genuine excitement was there."

Mississippi State Football: 2017 Bulldogs Preview and Prediction – Athlon Sports

Athlon Sports does not ever seem to be too high on Mississippi State — especially in the preseason. This year is no different.

"Mississippi State can still hang its hat on rising to No. 1 in the polls during the 2014 season, but the program slipped to 5–7 in the regular season in 2016 and made a bowl game only because of its high APR score. But that was a rebuilding year, and everyone knew it going in. With the quarterback position now settled and some emerging stars on defense, Mississippi State could be back in line to begin another ascent up the SEC West standings — if not to the top, at least into the middle of the pack with a seven- or eight-win season.But there are question marks, especially along the offensive line, so it would not be surprising to see Mississippi State need its good grades to get it into another bowl game."

Two Football Home Games Set For Primetime – HailState.com

Speaking of football, Mississippi State announced that two of their biggest games on the schedule will be played under the lights this fall.

"The Bulldogs’ Sept. 16 SEC opener against LSU will kick off at 6 p.m. CT on ESPN or ESPN2. The Egg Bowl returns to Thanksgiving night for a 6:30 p.m. CT primetime start on ESPN from Starkville.It marks the eighth straight year that MSU-LSU will be a primetime contest. The series has been decided by five points or less in each of the last three meetings."

Come back to Maroon and White Nation to fill all your Bulldogs cravings!