Sideline View by Dale McKee

Published: Apr. 5, 2021 at 11:00 AM CDT
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Mississippi State and Southern Mississippi swept their weekend baseball series as the Bulldogs downed No. 25 Kentucky in Starkville while the Golden Eagles won three games versus UTSA in San Antonio. Ole Miss lost two of three at Florida. This week MSU (20-7, 5-4) will travel to Auburn while USM (17-7, 4-3) will host UAB in a four-game set. Ole Miss (21-6, 7-2) will have their hands full this weekend as they entertain co-western division leader Arkansas (22-4, 7-2) in Oxford.

Mississippi University for Women (MUW) baseball team is 14-4 after splitting with Rust on Saturday. The Owls were ranked No. 2 in the country last week in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) Coaches Poll. Jackson State is still perfect after sweeping Mississippi Valley over the weekend in SWAC play to improve to 12-0 in conference play and 17-7 overall. William Carey (19-7, 4-5) swept Blue Mountain (11-11, 2-7) this past Friday and Saturday.

Football News

Jackson State (3-2, 2-1) lost to Southern University this past Saturday, 34-14, while Mississippi Valley (0-2) lost to Arkansas Pine Bluff, 24-17. This Saturday, JSU will host Alabama A&M and Valley will host Alabama State in SWAC football action.

The National Football League has added a 17th regular season game to this year’s schedule. This is the first time since 1978 when the league has added games to the regular season schedule.  Each team will also play a three-game preseason contest.

JUCO Update

The Region 23 basketball tournament for the community colleges will be this week for both the men and women. The nation’s top ranked team in the Jones Lady Bobcats is the favorite to capture a fifth straight Region title while Pearl River is the favorite in the men’s tournament.

The nation’s second ranked Lady Bulldogs of Mississippi Gulf Coast are on top of the Mississippi JUCO overall league softball standings with a 15-1 mark. Joining the Lady Bulldogs in the Top 10 are No. 3 Itawamba (16-2), No. 6 Co-Lin (16-2) and No. 10 Jones (11-5).

The nation’s second-ranked baseball team, the Wildcats of Pearl River Community College have compiled the best overall record in the Mississippi JUCO league as the Wildcats stand at 23-5 overall and 13-3 in the overall league standings. No. 16 East Central is not far behind at 19-9 overall and 14-4 in league action.

East Central Community College baseball coach Neil Holliman notched his 400th career win in 15 years at the Decatur based school recently.

MHSAA State Championships

The MHSAA has announced that the 2021 Class 1A, 3A and 5A Fast Pitch Softball Championships will be played at Mississippi State University while Class 2A, 4A and 6A will be held in Hattiesburg at USM on May 13 and 14.

The MHSAA baseball championships dates have been moved to June 1-5 at Trustmark Park in Pearl because of MLB having control of the minor league’s schedules.

Shuckers & Braves

The Biloxi Shuckers and the Mississippi Braves will open their 2021 baseball season beginning on Tuesday, May 4. The Shuckers travel to Birmingham on that date while the Braves will open at home against the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. The teams will meet for the first time this season in a six-game series beginning on Tuesday, May 11, in Biloxi.

Odds & Ends

The Masters will tee off beginning on Thursday from Augusta National Golf Course in Georgia. The 2019 and 2020 champion Dustin Johnson is again the favorite.

Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves announced that through April 30 he is expanding indoor venues attendance to 50% capacity for K-12 and 75% for colleges and universities with no restrictions on outdoor events.

Meridian native and NBA star Rodney Hood has been traded by the Portland Trail Blazers to the Toronto Raptors.

Stanford won the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championships this past Sunday night by  defeating another PAC-12 opponent in Arizona.

Dale is a resident of Waynesboro who has been writing sports since 1973.

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