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Weekend Preview: #1 LSU @ Mississippi St.

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LSU goes into the heart of #CLANGA

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Mississippi St. Bulldogs - 23-22 Overall, 7-14 SEC
Rank: N/A
RPI: 98th
ISR: 89th

After taking 2 of 3 from the Aggies last weekend, LSU gets rewarded for the series win by having to go into the cowbell infested stadium known as Dudy Noble Field and play Mississippi State. State's currently going through their worst season in the SEC in some time. The Bulldogs are dead last in the SEC West and are on the bubble for the SEC tournament at the moment. I guess they took all the skill the baseball team usually has and gave it to the football team for this school year.

There are a few reasons State is in this position, but I think the main reasons are these horrible uniforms that Adidas has made them trot out all season.

Yeesh. How they continue to let Adidas get away with these monstrosities is beyond me. Thanks for making my eyes bleed.

Anyway, let's meet the Bulldogs.

The Bats

Player

BA

OBP

SLG%

HR

BB

K

Jacob Robson

0.344

0.444

0.390

1

28

22

Jake Vickerson

0.327

0.398

0.418

1

9

15

Wes Rea

0.314

0.506

0.508

4

39

24

State is currently 9th in overall batting average in the SEC.  However, they are last in slugging percentage, so there isn't a whole lot of power bats in this lineup. The Bulldogs make up for that lack of power by being a patient bunch at the plate. They lead the league in walks and have the second lowest amount of strikeouts. Basically, hit singles, take walks, and hope Wes Rea hits the occasional bomb over the fence. Rea also falls into the Sikes Orvis category of "How the hell is he still there?"

The Arms

Starters

Player

W-L

ERA

IP

OBA

K

BB

Lucas Laster

4-3

3.16

57.0

0.27

43

12

Preston Brown

5-5

3.76

67.0

0.278

50

23

Bullpen

Player

ERA

IP

OBA

K

BB

Trevor Fits

1.69

26.2

0.168

26

9

Ross Mitchell

4.86

46.1

0.333

15

13

Levi Mintz

3.86

23.1

0.236

21

10

Honestly, it's weird to see a Mississippi State pitching staff that's taking it on the chin in so many categories. Their near the bottom of the conference in team ERA, opponent batting average, and extra base hits allowed. While they don't issue too many free bases, they have plunked 54 batters and thrown 42 wild pitches on the year. Both are good for second most in the conference. I don't think the Tiger bats will absolutely blow these guys out of the water, but they should put up enough runs for the pitching staff to be comfortable through the series.

Keys to the Weekend

Hold Steady: Coming off a big series win at home sets up LSU for a bit of a letdown this weekend, but that's the last thing they should allow. They need to keep up the energy from last weekend and help keep State out of the SEC tournament.

Limit Base Running Mistakes: The base running against A&M was great for the first two games, but then the guys got careless in game three. I'm glad their confident on the base paths, but don't overdo it and run yourself out of an inning.

Horrible Prediction

It's senior weekend for Mississippi St. so their team is going to be fired up and ready to take down the #1 team in the country. LSU looks to be in for a good fight, but LSU is clearly the better team and should assert itself as much as the weekend goes on.  Tigers take 2 of 3 with a sweep a good possibility.