The Division 1 college baseball season opened this past weekend, and the center of attention was in Starkville as the Mississippi State Bulldogs cut the ribbon on their stunning $68 million stadium renovations. The new Dudy Noble Field is the largest on-campus facility in college baseball. Several of the special features are 96 Left Lounge rigs, 20 suites, a dozen Left Field Lofts and TV monitors strategically placed at every nook and cranny in the stadium. The weekend also included the “Thunder and Lightning” statues of Will Clark and Rafael Palmeiro that were dedicated Friday. The following day was another special day as the Ron Polk Ring of Honor inducted the Bulldog legends Jeff Brantley, Boo Ferris, C.R. Dudy Noble, Polk, Clark and Palmeiro. Polk threw out the first pitch on Friday while Brantley, Clark and Palmeiro did the honors Saturday. The present day Bulldogs also did their part by winning three games from Youngstown State. MSU will host USM this weekend in a three-game set at the "Dude." USM swept Purdue in Hattiesburg to open their season while Ole Miss split with Wright State this weekend. The Rebels head to Tulane this weekend for a three-game set. Another great traditional baseball program in Delta State is off to a 9-0 start in 2019.
The Ole Miss Rebels basketball team won over a couple of Tiger teams this week to extend their SEC winning streak to four. The Rebels (8-4, 18-7) won at Auburn and then beat Missouri in Oxford. The Rebels will travel to South Carolina in a matchup that could be a major factor in the conference standings. Both teams are 8-4 in league play and tied for fourth place. The top four teams earn a double bye in the SEC Tournament. LSU and Tennessee are leading the SEC at 11-1 with Kentucky trailing at 10-2. The Tigers and Vols will meet in Baton Rouge this Saturday. Mississippi State (18-7, 6-6) is two games behind in the standings to Ole Miss. The Bulldogs are tied with Auburn, Florida and Alabama and will travel to Georgia and then host South Carolina this week. The USM Golden Eagles have won six straight Conference USA games. They set a conference record as they held UTEP to only 12 points in the first half of the Golden Eagles' win. USM (9-5, 17-9) will now face UAB this Saturday.
The Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs (11-1, 23-2) are tied with South Carolina atop the SEC. The Lady Bulldogs' 26-game SEC winning streak ended Thursday in a home court loss to Missouri. MSU came back to rip Texas A&M this past Sunday. The USM Lady Golden Eagles (7-6, 14-11) have won six of seven games and will host La. Tech this Saturday. The Ole Miss Lady Rebels (3-8, 9-16) will host MSU this Thursday night.
Odds & Ends
Denny Hamlin, for the second time in four years, won the Daytona 500. Hamlin won the race in overtime as he moved in front after a final restart. “The Great American Race” had five crashes and two red flags over the final 20 laps of regulation.
Georgetown head basketball coach Patrick Ewing was seen in Ellisville this past week. Ewing was in town scouting Jones College forward Galen Alexander, who is a LSU transfer.
Ole Miss has nine football players and Mississippi State eight players who have been invited to take part in the NFL combine this week in Indianapolis. MSU defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons has torn his ACL and will miss the combine. Simmons is still considered a first round pick in the April NFL draft.
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