March 22, 2013

Kentucky preview

No. 14 Mississippi State ventures out onto the road for the first time this season traveling to eighth-ranked Kentucky for a three-game series this weekend.

The Bulldogs have played 23 of their 24 games this season at Dudy Noble Field with one neutral site contest mixed in. MSU was just 5-12 on the road in 2012.

Today's opener is set for 5:30 p.m CT followed by game two on Saturday at 11 a.m. The Sunday finale will have a noon first pitch.

This weekend will mark the first visit back to Lexington for Diamond Dogs head coach John Cohen. Cohen coached the Wildcats from 2004-08 leading UK to two NCAA Regional appearances and an SEC Championship in 2006. State has not played at Cliff Hagan Stadium since 2008, Cohen's last season in the Bluegrass State.

The Bulldogs hold a 57-33 edge in the series and are 18-18 in games played in Lexington. Mississippi State took four of the five games played against the Wildcats last spring. The Diamond Dogs swept Kentucky on the final weekend of the regular season in Starkville then split a pair of games at the SEC Tournament.

MSU claimed the series at Dudy Noble Field by a combined score of 18-7. It was UK who handed the Bulldogs their only loss in Hoover in a 5-1 setback but defeated the Wildcats 2-1 in the semifinals en route to winning the tournament.

State (20-4, 1-2) is coming off a 7-6 win over Alcorn State at home on Tuesday night. The Diamond Dogs had 10 hits that evening led by senior catcher Nick Ammirati and junior shortstop Adam Frazier each going 3-for-4. Freshman Myles Gentry picked up the win in relief tossing four no-hit innings of relief with eight strikeouts.



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