LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Mississippi State Bulldogs open SEC play this weekend in Lexington, Ky. as they travel to take on the Kentucky Wildcats. The series begins on Friday at 5:30 p.m. CT, with Saturday's first pitch set at 1 p.m. CT, and concluding on Sunday with first pitch at 11 CT.
All three games will be broadcast on SEC Network+, with Sunday's game also on the SEC Network. The games will also be carried on the Mississippi State Sports Network powered by Learfield, along with a live audio stream via HailState.com/Listen. Click HERE for a complete list of the 2023 MSU Baseball Radio Affiliates.
Probable starting pitchers
Friday, March 17 (5:30 p.m. CT)
MSU: Jurrangelo Cijntje (3-0), BHP, Fr.
UK: Darren Williams (1-0), RHP, Gr.
Saturday, March 18 (1 p.m. CT)
MSU: Landon Gartman (1-0), RHP, Jr.
UK: Tyler Bosma, (3-1), LHP, Gr.
Sunday, March 19 (11 a.m.)
MSU: Graham Yntema (1-1), LHP, So.
UK: Zack Lee, (3-0), RHP, Sr.
The Bulldog's captain, Luke Hancock, was named to the 2023 Buster Posey award watch list on March 3rd, awarded to the best catcher in collegiate baseball.
GOOD EYE: The Diamond Dawgs rank third nationally this season with 127 base on balls. Colton Ledbetter ranks fourth nationally with 23 walks by himself alone.
LIVING LIKE LARRY: Amani Larry excels at getting on base, and his career numbers show nothing but that. Among all active D-1 players, Larry ranks eleventh with a .369 career batting average and fourth with a .491 on-base percentage.
The Bulldogs' pitching staff has been sitting down batters consistently this year. As a team, the Diamond Dawg pitchers have struck out 205 batters, which is good for sixth most in the nation. Bradley Loftin leads the team with 30 strikeouts, 11 of those coming in a start against Valparaiso.
The Diamond Dawgs head into the weekend batting .304 as a team. Freshman Bryce Chance tops the stat sheet with a .379 batting average.
Hunter Hines hates baseballs and is making that known more now than ever. Hines' has hit eight bombs on the year, five of those coming in the last six games.
The Diamond Dawgs have flaunted their speed on the basepaths, accounting for 33 stolen bases, which is the most of any team in the Southeastern Conference.
Scouting the Wildcats
Nick Mingione is the head coach for Kentucky. He is in his seventh season, with a career record of 191-131. Before becoming head coach at Kentucky, he was an assistant at Mississippi State under John Cohen.
Kentucky enters the weekend with a 15-2 record with an 11-game win streak.
The Wildcats' pitching staff allows just 6.28 hits per-nine inning, which is the fifth-best ratio in the country.
Kentucky believes in small ball, as they have laid down 18 sacrifice bunts this year, fourth most in the nation and the most in the Southeastern Conference.
Kentucky has three batters batting above .400 – Hunter Gillam, Jase Felker, and Emilien Pitre. The three have combined for 70 hits in 159 official at-bats.
Darren Williams is scheduled to make his second start of the season. In 17 innings of work, he holds a 1.06 ERA while picking up 17 strikeouts on just one walk.
Zack Lee leads the Wildcats in strikeouts, punching out 23 batters on the season. He is scheduled to start on Sunday.
Tyler Bosma has made four starts on the year, accumulating a 4.34 ERA in 18.2 innings and is slated as the Saturday starter.
The Dawgs and Wildcats meet for the 107th time on Friday when they open up Southeastern Conference.
This will be the first matchup since April 22, 2021, as these two programs did not play each other last season.
Mississippi State leads the all-time series 65-41.
The first matchup between these two programs was during the 1925 season.
MSU has won the last four games between these two programs.
This is the first trip to Lexington for the Dawgs since the 2018 season.
Success! An email has been sent to with a link to confirm list signup.
Error! There was an error processing your request.