STARKVILLE, Miss. – A slate of 33 games at Dudy Noble Field featuring 17 different opponents highlights a challenge-filled 56-game Mississippi State University baseball schedule announced this week by MSU head baseball coach John Cohen.
Mississippi State plays 28 of its 56 games and squares off against 10 teams that advanced to the 2009 NCAA Tournament, including 15 games against teams that reached the NCAA Super Regionals and eight matchups with teams that competed in the NCAA College World Series.
“We feel like we’ve put together another very good baseball schedule, with half of our games against teams from the NCAA tournament field and 15 against NCAA Super Regional teams,” said Cohen.
“We’re excited about playing an additional game at Trustmark Park in Pearl this season and giving our great fan base in the Jackson area three week-night opportunities to see the Bulldogs play. “With an extra week added to the playing season, our schedule is spread out over 14 weeks, and now in most weeks we’ll be playing just one mid-week game.”
MSU launches its 120th season of baseball and a string of 13 consecutive games at Dudy Noble Field Feb. 19-21 with a three-game series against first-time opponent and Atlantic 10 Conference runner-up Rhode Island. State also hosts Southeastern Louisiana in a three-game weekend series (Feb. 26-28) and closes out the home stand with the second annual BankFirst Baseball Challenge (Mar. 5-7). The Bulldogs play two games each against Michigan State of the Big 10 Conference and Ohio Valley Conference foe Southeast Missouri State, coached by former Bulldog assistant Mark Hogan, in the three-day, six-game event.
The Bulldogs begin their 30-game SEC schedule March 19-21 in Gainesville, Fla., with a three-game series at Florida. State’s 15-game home SEC slate for 2010 includes series against SEC Western Division rivals Arkansas and Ole Miss and SEC East teams Georgia, Tennessee and Vanderbilt. The MSU-UT series (Apr. 16-18) will be part of the schedule for Mississippi State’s annual spring homecoming, Super Bulldog Weekend.
Mississippi State’s non-conference home schedule also includes single midweek contests against instate SWAC foes Alcorn State, Jackson State and Mississippi Valley State along with Memphis, Northwestern State, South Alabama, UAB, and Western Kentucky.
State makes a program-first trip to Corpus Christi, Texas, for its initial road competition of the 2010 season. The Bulldogs square off against Big 12 Conference power Oklahoma, UCLA of the Pac-10 Conference and tournament host Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in the fifth annual Whataburger Classic (Mar. 12-14). The event is held at Whataburger Field, the 5,000-seat home of the Corpus Christi Hooks, the Houston Astros’ Class AA Texas League affiliate.
The Bulldogs are scheduled to make three mid-week appearances at Trustmark Park in Pearl, Miss., in the coming season. MSU is the designated home team against Ole Miss in the fourth annual Governor’s Cup game (Mar. 30) at Trustmark Park, and later takes on Jackson State (May 4) and Southern Miss (May 5) at the home of the Atlanta Braves‘ Class AA Southern League affiliate.
Nine of MSU’s 26 baseball opponents in 2010 are newcomers to the MSU schedule, including season-opening foe Rhode Island and SEC opening weekend opponent Florida, which replaces Kentucky on the Bulldogs’ SEC league schedule in 2010.
State closes out its regular season schedule in Baton Rouge, La., with a Thursday-Friday-Saturday series against defending NCAA national champion LSU (May 20-22).
The 2010 SEC Baseball Tournament is set May 26-30 at Regions Park in Hoover, Ala., while the NCAA baseball tournament begins competition June 4 at 16 regional sites.