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The Mississippi State baseball team finds itself as the No. 23 team in the nation.
It's just in time to host the Nittany Lions of Penn State for a two-game midweek series today and Wednesday.
The Bulldogs (10-2) are coming off a successful four-game weekend where they finished a perfect 4-0 with a pair of wins over both the University of Connecticut and Lipscomb University.
In the four games, Mississippi State turned in a .326 batting average while pounding out 45 hits, including a season-high 19 hits in the weekend finale.
MSU third baseman Daryl Norris, who is batting at a .400 clip for the season, led the Bulldogs at the plate with an 8-for-16 effort. Sophomore C.T. Bradford set a career and team season-highs with a 4-for-6, six RBI outing on Sunday.
The Nittany Lions enter the week with a 2-6 record and played Samford on Monday evening.Â For the season, Penn State has a team batting average of .213 and a staff ERA of 4.63.
Despite the numbers behind the Nittany Lions, MSU coach John Cohen understands they will present a challenge for the Diamond Dawgs.
â€śThis is going to be a challenge for us because theyâ€™ll have some big, physical guys on their bench,â€ť said Cohen. â€śWeâ€™re going to be a little short on the mound because we threw so many guys over the weekend but weâ€™ve got to find a way to navigate it.â€ť
The Bulldogs extended themselves during the four-game series last weekend and while they knew it would present problems playing Penn State in the midweek, it was just something Cohen couldnâ€™t pass up.
â€śYou know, Butch (Thompson) is looking at me like 'really, weâ€™re going to play four in a weekend and then play two in the middle?' He was right, but how do you turn down a chance to play Penn State when they are in our area? They have a great athletic department, great tradition and a lot of athletes on their ballclub.â€ť
Mississippi State sends Bradford to the mound on Tuesday for his first action of the season as a pitcher.
The Bulldogs also expect to have a pair of starters back on the field as Brent Brownlee and Trey Porter should return from injury.Â Â
â€śI think those guys could have played, but I just didnâ€™t want to do it,â€ť said Cohen. â€śI think Trey Porter will be ready to go on (today) and Wednesday and I think Brent Brownlee will too. An extra day of rest is really going to help those guys.â€ť
First pitch for today's and Wednesday matchups is set for 6:30 p.m. at Dudy Noble Field.View more articles in: