March 28, 2013

Bulldogs on the road again

Mississippi State will hit the road again his weekend seeking a different result.

The 16th ranked Bulldogs have dropped their first two Southeastern Conference series to LSU and Kentucky and look to change their luck at Arkansas.

MSU is 2-4 to begin league play with two losses decided by one run and another that went into extra innings.

"I think we're just a couple of pitches away from being 4-2 or 5-1," said MSU skipper John Cohen. "That's how tight it is."

This weekend will pit the SEC's top hitting club in the Diamond Dogs against the conference's top pitching staff in Arkansas.

The Razorbacks (19-7, 4-2) sport a league-best 1.64 earned run average with 214 strikeouts and 77 walks in 235.2 innings of work. Their opponents are hitting just .189 against them with only four home runs all season.

"Their pitching staff is one of the best in the country when you look at their arms," Cohen said. "(Ryne) Stanek jumps out at you. He was throwing the ball as well as anybody we saw a year ago. I really like the way he competes, moves the ball around and changes speeds. They do such a nice job of every guy they throw out there gives you a different look and presents different challenges."

State enters the weekend with the SEC's highest on-base percentage at .411 and are second in hitting with a .310 average, three points shy of LSU. That lineup features one of the conference's top hitters in junior shortstop Adam Fraizer. Frazier is second with 44 hits and leads the league with 32 runs scored and four triples.

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