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No. 11 Arkansas Travels To Starkville To Take

BY ANDRES FOCIL
No. 11 Arkansas Travels To Starkville To Take

Series: Mississippi State leads 29-21. MSU has won four straight.

Game Times:
Friday – 6:30 p.m.
Saturday – 2 p.m.
Sunday – 1:30 p.m.

Rankings:
Arkansas – CB – 11th; BA – 12th; NCBWA – 15th; BW/ESPN – 15th;
Mississippi State – Not ranked

Head Coaches
Arkansas
Dave Van Horn (Arkansas, 1988) is in his second season as head coach of the Razorbacks. Van Horn has a career record of 654-278 overall and 69-38 at Arkansas and is in his 16th season as a head coach.

Mississippi State
Ron Polk is in 31st year as a head coach and in his second stint with the Bulldogs. Polk has a career record of 1126-599-2 and a 992-487-2 record at MSU. He is in his 25th season as head coach at Mississippi State.

Noting the Razorbacks
LHP Clint Brannon is making his 14th start of the season. . . .Brannon has nine no decisions in his 13 previous starts. . . .Arkansas is 7-6 when Brannon takes the mound. . . .Brannon is 3-1 with a 4.40 ERA in SEC play this season. . . .Brannon went a career-best 8.0 innings last Friday against Ole Miss. . . .For his career, Brannon is 7-4 with a 3.83 ERA and 99 strikeouts. . . .There has been 13 one run games in the Arkansas-MSU series with the Bulldogs holding a 10-3 record in those games. . . .Mississippi State has won three straight series and five of the last seven. . . .Arkansas is 6-13 in Starkville since 1968 and is 4-6 in their last 10 games in Starkville. . . .The Razorbacks claimed series wins in Starkville in 1994 and 1998. . . .Jake Dugger owns the longest hitting streak on the team at seven games. . . .The Razorbacks are hitting .293 with runners in scoring position this season including a .276 average in SEC play. . . .Jay Sawatski has inherited 14 base runners and allowed only three to score. . . .The Razorbacks have played superb defense of late making only six errors in the last eight games. . . .Casey Rowlett has raised his batting average 32 points in the last 11 games. . . .Rowlett is hitting .432 (16-for-37) with two doubles and five runs in those 11 outings. . . .Brady Toops has thrown out three straight base runners and seven of the last 11. . . .Toops leads the SEC with 20 runners thrown out. . . .Arkansas is third in the SEC in on base percentage and second in stolen bases. . . .The Razorbacks have swiped 79 bases this season, the most since the 1999 squad stole 136. . . .Danny Hamblin is third in the SEC in hits for freshmen with 60, while Jake Dugger is sixth with 56.

Arkansas vs. Mississippi State
The Razorbacks and Bulldogs have played 50 times since 1968. Mississippi State won the first seven meetings between 1968-83 before the Razorbacks claimed a 5-3 win in Helena, Ark. The teams have met four times in post season play with Arkansas winning three of those contests. Mississippi State won the first post season game in the 1985 College World Series by a 5-4 score, while Arkansas has won all three meetings in the SEC Tournament.

Down To The Wire
With six league games remaining the Razorbacks hold a two-game lead over Ole Miss and LSU for first place in the SEC Western Division. Arkansas is tied with Florida for first place overall in the league, but the Gators hold the tie breaker over the Hogs after winning two of three games earlier this season. Ole Miss is at Florida this weekend and concludes the season at home against LSU. The Tigers host Vanderbilt this weekend before traveling to Oxford next weekend. After hosting the Rebels this weekend, Florida travels to Knoxville to take on the Vols in the regular season finale.

Going For 35
With one more win the Razorbacks will equal their season total from 2003. Should the Hogs eclipse 35 wins it would mark the highest win total since the 1999 team posted 42 wins. In addition, the Razorbacks have 16 SEC wins marking the second most in school history. The 1999 team set the school mark for league wins with 22.



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