On the other hand the Bulldogs, who are playing at Vanderbilt this weekend in a Southeastern Conference series, wouldn’t mind getting the boost from a win.
So there is no doubt that both teams will be highly-motivated when they face each other Wednesday night at 6 at Ken Dugan Field at Stephen Lee Marsh Stadium. The Bisons will be on the road this weekend at Kennesaw State for their first Atlantic Sun series of the season.
“We altered our schedule to get Mississippi State on it because they were coming to town to play Vanderbilt,” Bisons’ coach Jeff Forehand said. “This is an opportunity for us. Mississippi State is playing great.
“We have to close up some gaps and some windows that we are giving other teams to score. We have to take advantage of our windows to score. If we do those things we are going to be fine.”
The Bisons were swept in three games this past weekend by Ole Miss, another SEC team, on the road in Oxford.
“We didn’t play very good against Ole Miss,” Forehand said. “They pitched really well. We only scored one run and that makes it hard to win any games. We didn’t take advantage of some chances that we had and they did.
“I told our team after the last game with Ole Miss that by playing teams like that we get a great idea of where we are as a team. We all want to win the games, but we didn’t back down. We played hard. Hopefully, we learned a lot.”
Left-hander Chris Nunn, 1-0 with a staff-leading 1.53 earned run average, will start for the Bisons. This will be Nunn’s seventh appearance and fourth start. He has pitched 17.2 innings, allowing 11 hits and striking out 17. He has also walked 12.
Mississippi State will counter with left-hander Nick Routt who was injured a year ago. This will be his first appearance since the injury.
“Chris is gaining experience with every appearance,” Forehand said. “We have been trying to get him a start on Tuesday or Wednesday of each week. He is coming in as a reliever on weekends. We think down the line he is going to hit his stride.”
The Bisons are led in hitting by Richie Goodenow with a .407 average. He also leads the team in runs batted in with 11.
Goodenow has a five-game hitting streak on the line. M.L. Williams and Tennyson Dodd both have had nine-game streaks, the longest for the team. Those streaks ended at Ole Miss.
The Bisons enter the game with a 7-9 record. Mississippi State is 13-4 after beating Eastern Illinois 9-4 Tuesday night in Starkville.
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.