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Mississippi State baseball 2024 bold predictions: Will Bulldogs return to postseason?

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Mississippi State baseball 2024 bold predictions: Will Bulldogs return to postseason?


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STARKVILLE — The expectations for Mississippi State baseball entering the 2024 season are as low as the program has seen. The Bulldogs are projected to finish last in the SEC West across various publications and could be headed toward a third straight year with no postseason appearance.

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However, coach Chris Lemonis’ offseason suggests MSU could exceed the lowly expectations.

The Bulldogs hired Justin Parker away from South Carolina to serve as the program’s pitching coach. After back-to-back years with the conference’s worst ERA, MSU parted ways with Scott Foxhall and replaced him with Parker – who helped guide the Gamecocks to the SEC’s second-best ERA last season.

Offensively, Mississippi State returns plenty of its production, highlighted by slugging first baseman Hunter Hines and All-American outfielder Dakota Jordan.

Throughout its struggles, MSU has continued to collect among the nation’s best recruiting classes. With talent still on the roster, could Mississippi State turn its fortunes around this year? Here are three bold predictions that suggest the answer is yes.

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Mississippi State’s pitching will rank in the top half of the SEC

Parker got a first-hand look at Mississippi State’s pitching when South Carolina came to Dudy Noble Field for a series last season. Since being hired by the Bulldogs, Parker has frequently praised the potential he saw from MSU’s staff despite allowing nearly eight runs per game in the series.

With Parker’s track record, that talent should result in improved production this season. Switch-pitcher Jurrangelo Cijntje should take a step forward as a sophomore in the starting rotation. The return of Brooks Auger and Stone Simmons should help the bullpen. Nate Dohm, who praised Parker’s impact on his mechanics, and Colby Holcombe should turn flashes from last season into consistent play.

Even an ERA around five should be enough to finish seventh in the SEC.

Hunter Hines will be All-SEC

Hines spent his first two seasons primarily as MSU’s designated hitter, but as he looks to improve his professional prospects, his play at first base will be crucial. If he can do enough defensively to stay at the position, Hines will have the offense to make a case for All-SEC honors.

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Florida’s Jac Caglianone, who was the preseason first-team pick and a projected first-round MLB Draft selection, will be hard to beat out. However, Hines can surpass Georgia’s Charlie Condon as the second-team option.

In his career, Hines is hitting .299 and averages 19 home runs per season.

ONE-ON-ONE: Inside the anger fueling Mississippi State baseball, Chris Lemonis and the drive for 2024

Mississippi State will make an NCAA Regional

MSU’s schedule paves a path back to the NCAA Tournament. Outside of SEC play, Mississippi State faces just one power conference opponent – a midweek contest against Ole Miss that doesn’t count toward conference standings. The Bulldogs should be able to stack wins there.

The road SEC slate is tough, with trips to Texas A&M, Florida, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt and Arkansas. However, the home conference schedule – LSU, Georgia, Auburn, Alabama and Missouri − is a chance for MSU to work its way up the SEC standings.

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Stefan Krajisnik is the Mississippi State beat writer for the Clarion Ledger. Contact him at skrajisnik@gannett.com or follow him on the X platform, formerly known as Twitter, @skrajisnik3.





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Mississippi

Mississippi State wins fourth straight, avenges loss to Ole Miss

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Mississippi State wins fourth straight, avenges loss to Ole Miss


Feb 21, 2024; Starkville, Mississippi, USA; Mississippi Rebels guard Jaylen Murray (5) shoots during the first half against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Humphrey Coliseum.
Image: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Tolu Smith scored a game-high 24 points and Mississippi State avenged an earlier loss to in-state rival Ole Miss with an 83-71 Southeastern Conference decision Wednesday night in Starkville, Miss.

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The Bulldogs (18-8, 7-6 SEC), who won their fourth game in a row, also got 12 points each from Shakeel Moore and KeShawn Murphy, plus 11 from Cameron Matthews.

Mississippi State overcame poor foul shooting — it made just 23 of 39 at the line — and a subpar scoring performance from second-leading scorer Josh Hubbard, who was held to only five points on 1-of-9 shooting.

Matthew Murrell scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead the Rebels (19-7, 6-7), while Allen Flanigan and Jaylen Murray each added 12 points.

But Ole Miss, which has lost four of its last five games, failed to hold on to a four-point halftime lead because it couldn’t make shots.

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The Rebels cooled drastically from 50 percent shooting in the first half to 29.6 percent in the second half. They also committed 10 turnovers that led to 13 points for the Bulldogs.

Mississippi State took the lead for good on Murphy’s layup with 13:29 left that made it 56-55. That started a game-changing 14-2 run that Moore capped with a layup at the 9:51 mark for a 68-57 lead. Ole Miss got within four on Flanigan’s two free throws with 5:30 remaining but a 13-2 spurt sealed the outcome.

The first half was played in two parts — the first eight minutes that the Bulldogs dominated and the final 12 that went to the Rebels.

Poor shooting and turnovers by Ole Miss led to a game-opening 20-8 burst for Mississippi State that Murphy capped with a layup with 12:04 remaining. But Ole Miss responded, starting with Jaemyn Brakefield’s layup on the next possession.

Brakefield and Murrell led a rally by combining for three 3-pointers in a five-minute stretch. The Rebels took their first lead when 7-foot-5 Jamarion Sharp hit a layup with 4:32 left to make it 34-33.

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Murrell capped a 16-point half by sinking two foul shots with 31 seconds remaining, making it 44-40 Ole Miss at the break.

—Field Level Media



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MSU ‘Story State’ contest seeks emerging Mississippi storytellers

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MSU ‘Story State’ contest seeks emerging Mississippi storytellers


Contact: Sarah Nicholas

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State University’s Story State 2024 —an annual contest aimed at sharing Mississippi stories—is open for entries for new and original written, oral or filmed stories.

The competition is open to all students enrolled at a Mississippi institution of higher learning, with entries accepted through March 21.

Winners for each category will receive $100, and the overall winner will be named master storyteller and will receive an additional $150. Winners will be announced March 28.

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“Story State’s mission is to foster innovative storytelling,” said Anna Blount, an MSU communication instructor and competition coordinator for this year’s event. “Stories are used to continue rich family traditions, convey core educational concepts and illustrate societal values.

“This contest is for any student storyteller, no matter your major. The best stories come from different people and different places. We encourage everyone to tell their stories through the Story State contest,” Blount said.

The three entry categories include:

  • Written: Students are encouraged to enter works of nonfiction including personal narrative, memoir, narrative journalism, essay and other forms. Students can submit a complete work or an excerpt from a longer work. The word count must fall between 1,000 and 5,000.
  • Oral: Students can submit works of narrative nonfiction audio segments of up to 10 minutes. These segments may be an excerpt from a longer work. 
  • Film: Submissions for this category include narrative nonfiction video segments of up to 10 minutes and can be an excerpt from a longer work.

For more information regarding entry submission, visit www.storystate.msstate.edu or email storystate@comm.msstate.edu.

Mississippi State University is taking care of what matters. Learn more at www.msstate.edu.



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19 injured after multi-vehicle crash in Jones County – SuperTalk Mississippi

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19 injured after multi-vehicle crash in Jones County – SuperTalk Mississippi



In what officials are calling a “mass casualty,” at least 19 people are injured after a massive car crash in Jones County.

According to WDAM, the crash happened Wednesday around 6:30 a.m. near the U.S. 84 intersection with Ben Pitts Road. The Jones County Sheriff’s Department confirmed to the TV station that 20 vehicles were involved, including multiple semi-trailer trucks. An overturned log truck was also part of the incident.

Of the 19 injured, 10 were transported via ambulance to South Central Regional Medical Center in Laurel. Medical personnel assisted the nine who refused ambulance service. No fatalities have been reported.

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While traffic slowly returns to normal operations in the area, the Mississippi Highway Patrol is investigating the incident. Officials are encouraging drivers to use alternative routes for the time being.

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Copyright 2023 SuperTalk Mississippi Media. All rights reserved.





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