Wet forecast leads to college baseball schedule shuffle

Published 7:00 pm Thursday, March 7, 2019

Mississippi’s Big Three college baseball programs have done a pretty good job handling what opponents have thrown at them this season.

Mother Nature is proving to be a much trickier opponent.

For the second week in a row, Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Southern Miss have altered their weekend series schedules to try and sidestep rain and severe weather that is in the forecast.

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Mississippi State and Maine will play a doubleheader Friday at Dudy Noble Field, beginning at 3 p.m. The finale of the series is at noon on Sunday.

Mississippi State (12-1) has won eight consecutive games, with half of those coming against Top 25 opponents. Win No. 8 in the streak came Wednesday, 14-1 over Arkansas-Pine Bluff, as Justin Foscue went 4-for-5 with two doubles, two RBIs and three runs scored.

Marshall Gilbert also doubled and drove in three runs for Mississippi State.

Over in Oxford, Ole Miss will try to shake off a 3-2 midweek loss to East Carolina when it hosts UAB in a three-game series.

The opener on Friday has been moved up 3 1/2 hours to a 3 p.m. first pitch. The teams will play single games Saturday and Sunday, at 1:30 p.m. both days.

Ole Miss (9-3) had a six-game winning streak snapped with its loss to East Carolina. Jake Kuchmaner came within one strike of a no-hitter, walking Michael Fitzsimmons on a 3-2 pitch with two outs in the ninth inning before Thomas Dillard singled to break it up.

Dillard increased his hitting streak to 14 games, which leads the team and dates back to the 2018 season.

Ole Miss only tracks its own no-hitters, not those thrown against them, so it’s unknown when was the last time it was no-hit. Coach Mike Bianco, however, shrugged off his team’s struggles, especially in light of its overall success this season.

“It was just one of those nights. You just have to credit them,” Bianco told the Oxford Eagle.

Meanwhile, in Hattiesburg, Southern Miss (5-5) will host Holy Cross (1-11) in a three-game series this weekend. The teams will play a doubleheader Friday beginning at 2 p.m. at Pete Taylor Park, and a single game Saturday — for now — at a time to be announced once an updated forecast is released.

Rain and severe thunderstorms are forecast all across Mississippi on Saturday.

Southern Miss snapped a five-game losing streak Wednesday with an 8-3 victory over Southern University. Matt Wallner and Erick Hoard each hit two-run singles in a two-out, four-run rally in the fourth inning that gave Southern Miss the lead for good.

Six Golden Eagles pitchers checked the Jaguars (6-6) on eight hits, including just two after the first four innings, and struck out a season-high 13 batters.

Southern Miss had lost three straight home games, including two in a series against Gonzaga last weekend that was also shuffled around because of rain.

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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