Preview: Southern Miss faces test against defending national champions Mississippi State

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Preview

Southern Miss (5-2) will take on the No. 9 Mississippi State Bulldogs (5-3) from Trustmark Park in Pearl, MS, Wednesday with the first pitch set for 6 p.m. 

The Golden Eagles are coming off just coming up short in sweeping the Jacksonville State Gamecocks this past weekend.

Mississippi State is the defending national champions, but the Bulldogs have seen their share of struggles this season. Losing their opening series to Long Beach State and dropping a contest this past weekend to Northern Kentucky has given the Bulldogs some worries. 

The game series between the Golden Eagles and the Bulldogs dates back to 2005. Mississippi State leads the series 16-13 all-time, and Southern Miss has dropped the last three matchups between the two ball clubs. 

Wednesday’s game in Pearl will mark the first time in 2022 that the Golden Eagles and the Diamond Dogs are playing away from their home ballpark, even though Southern Miss is the designated home team in the matchup. 

The Golden Eagles enter into Wednesday’s matchup, hitting .288 as a team with 12 doubles, three triples and four home runs on the season. 

Reece Ewing leads the team in batting average (.500), and Ewing has tallied two home runs this young season. 

The Bulldogs’ leading batter [average] is Brad Cumbest (.450). He has three hits with a double and a home run, along with two runs scored. Kamren James follows closely behind him with two hits and a home run.  

Pitching has been a potent weapon for Southern Miss and no doubt the weapon they will utilize against the Bulldogs. 

The Golden Eagles have allowed 20 runs in 67.0 innings and enter Wednesday’s matchup with an impressive 1.88 team ERA. 

Right-handed pitcher Tanner Hall will get the start on the mound for the Golden Eagles, who has pitched a 2.84 ERA to go along with eight strikeouts and two walks in six and one-third innings.  

For the Bulldogs, right-handed pitcher Jackson Fristoe will start on the mound. He has a 1-0 record and posted a 2.25 ERA in the single game he pitched. Fristoe pitched four innings and struck out six. 

Prediction

Southern Miss’ young season has come down to whether or not the bats are out or not. In both of the games they lost, their offense was almost non-existent. 

Mississippi State is the defending National Champions for sure, but they are not unbeatable. If the bats are working, Southern Miss tops Mississippi State.

 I predict they will be working, and Tanner Hall will be on fire to start the game, and not only be a big win for the Golden Eagles to start the young season but also end the four-game slide against the Diamond Dogs. 

Southern Miss 5, Mississippi State 3

Either way, the game goes; this will be an excellent test for the Golden Eagles and will test every question we have had about them from the beginning of the season.