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MSU braces for Super Bulldog weekend

By By Richard Dark/The Meridian Star
March 23, 2001
One of the biggest weekend's on the Mississippi State Bulldog baseball schedule happens to be this one, as Pat McMahon's club gears up for the 16th annual Super Bulldog weekend.
For the Bulldogs, the main focus will be the defending national champion LSU Tigers, who come in to Dudy Noble Field for a weekend Southeastern Conference set.
Legendary Tiger coach Skip Bertman, who is retiring after the season to become the school's Athletics Director, will be making his final trip to Starkville.
Festivities get going with today's pig-cooking contest, to be held again this year just west of Davis-Wade Stadium at Scott Field, between the stadium and the Bost Extension building.
One highlight of this year's goings-on will be a spring scrimmage by Mississippi State's 2001 football team.
Coach Jackie Sherrill's team will culminate its second week of spring practice with a Saturday scrimmage at Scott Field at 1 p.m. A host of other MSU teams are also in action this weekend, including the softball and tennis squads among others.
The baseball Bulldogs (12-7) are coming off an 18-9 home shelling of Tennessee Tech. Four teams are tied atop the SEC West standings at 4-2, including both State and LSU. The two teams will meet at 6:30 tonight, 3:15 p.m., Saturday, and 1:30 p.m., Sunday.
LSU outfielder Ray Wright has been suspended for the weekend series, according to Bertman, for an unspecified violation of team rules. Wright is currently hitting .312 for the Tigers and started in 18 of 24 games.
The MSU pitching staff currently owns a 2.03 ERA in SEC play.
Rebels look to get back on track: The 19th-ranked Ole Miss Rebels (18-6-1) were defeated by Memphis, 3-1 this week.
The loss snapped a six-game non-losing streak that dated back to a one-run loss against the Kentucky Wildcats on March 11. The Rebs currently sit at 4-2 in SEC Western Division play. The Rebels are slowly working back into the rotation injured hurlers Dan McShea and Glen Morris.
Morris started the Memphis contest. Coach Mike Bianco said after the Rebels swept Auburn last weekend, fans shouldn't get too excited.
The Rebels will return to SEC action tonight at 6:30, hosting Alabama in the first of a three-game weekend series.
Junior right-hander Pete Montrenes (5-1, 2.91) is scheduled to start for the Rebels against junior left-hander Mark Carter (4-1, 3.35).
Golden Eagles hit skid: After bolting out to a 13-6 start, Corky Palmer's Southern Miss club seems to be crashing back down to earth, having lost five straight, including Wednesday night's 10-inning, 5-3 loss to Jackson State.
The Tigers plated two runs in the top of the 10th to grab the victory.
USM currently sits last in the Conference USA standings by virtue of getting swept in Houston last weekend. The Eagles will try to put a halt to the slide with a home slate against the Charlotte 49ers.
Tigers hope to continue charge: With wins in 10 of their last 12 contests, including success against the West Georgia Braves in their first conference weekend, the West Alabama Tigers (15-8, 2-1 GSC) will look to keep it going against the Montevallo Falcons.
Junior Scott Merkick paces the Tiger attack with an impressive .471 batting average. He also leads the Tigers in hits (41), homers (6) and RBIs 29.
Richard Dark is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at rdark@themeridianstar.com.