STARKVILLE, Miss. – Twenty-two games against 2007 NCAA Tournament participants and a 31-game slate of contests at Dudy Noble Field highlight Mississippi State University’s 56-game baseball schedule for 2008.
Mississippi State opens its 118th season of baseball and veteran skipper Ron Polk’s 29th coaching campaign with the Bulldogs Feb. 22-24 in Jacksonville, Fla., with a three-game road series against first-time foe North Florida.
State ushers in its 31-game 2008 home schedule February 26 against UAB, the first game of a season-longest 14-game homestand for the Diamond Dogs. During that stretch State hosts another first-time foe, Air Force, in a three-game series and meets Big 12 Conference power Baylor in the three-game Cadence Bank Challenge. MSU wraps up the early-season run of home games and launches SEC competition Mar. 14-16 with a three-game series against instate league rival Ole Miss.
Baylor is the first of eight teams on MSU’s 2008 schedule that advanced to the 2007 NCAA Tournament. Austin Peay State University, Memphis and Southern Miss along with SEC foes Arkansas, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt and South Carolina also reached the 64-team field of the NCAA Tournament last season. Three of those opponents (Arkansas, Ole Miss and South Carolina) advanced to NCAA Super Regional competition.
Other opponents scheduled to visit Dudy Noble Field in the coming season are Arkansas-Little Rock, Memphis and South Alabama along with SEC rivals Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee and Vanderbilt. The MSU-Georgia baseball series March 28-30 anchors MSU’s annual spring homecoming celebration, Super Bulldog Weekend.
The Bulldogs are scheduled to make one appearance in 2008 at Trustmark Park in Pearl, Miss., taking on Ole Miss Apr. 15 in the second annual Governor’s Cup game.
Two Mississippi State baseball games have been selected for live broadcast by the SEC’s Regional Sports Network (RSN) as part of the SEC game of the week television series shown on FOX Sports Net South. MSU’s May 10 game at LSU and a regular season-ending May 17 home matchup with Arkansas are part of the league’s eight-game TV package.
MSU returns 20 letter-winners and 14 players who drew starts on the 2007 State team that finished with a 38-22 record and advanced to the NCAA College World Series in Omaha, Neb.