Diamond Dogs riding into Texas hot

Senior Peyton Plumlee pitches against UAB on February 20. Plumlee had nine strikeouts against the University of Southeastern Louisiana February 27.

Mississippi State University (8-1) is off to a hot start on both offense and defense, as they have averaged 8.8 runs per game and only given up 1.7 runs per game.

Head coach Chris Lemonis said they are keeping their rhythm early in the season, according to a press release sent out by the Athletic Department. 

"I think we’re playing good baseball," Lemonis said. "We’ve learned a lot about ourselves, some roles and our pitching (as) we’ve been trying to figure out those pieces. I’m excited to see how we match up against some of the better teams in the country."

Peyton Plumlee, a senior right-handed pitcher from Olive Branch, said this is a good team. 

"This is the probably the best baseball team that I’ve ever played on in my entire life," Plumlee said. "That even goes back to sophomore year with Brent Rooker and all of them. This is no doubt the best team that I have ever played on."

Lemonis said MSU will meet some of those best teams in the country at the Frisco Classic in Texas when they play Sam Houston State University, Texas Tech University and Nebraska University. 

"We’re going to have to strap it on and show up and be ready to play all three days against a different opponent each day," Lemonis said. 

Facing three different teams in three days does pose some challenges for the Diamond Dogs, one of which is scouting for so many opponents.

"It’s a lot harder for the coaches doing the scouting," Lemonis said. "My scouting guys have gotten a team each week with five different opponents, so you’re figuring out the team."

Lemonis said the tournament should also prepare the team for post-season play in the NCAA tournament if they were to make it, as it offers up a regional atmosphere. 

"It keeps us fresh. It makes you feel like you’re in a regional, which is what I like about this," Lemonis said. "You’re traveling so much everywhere and playing in a regional atmosphere, so it should get our guys ready for that."

Plumlee said the team could use this weekend to announce to the college baseball world that MSU means business on the mound and at the plate. 

"Moving into this weekend, I feel like we’re going to have to take care of some business," Plumlee said. "I think it’s a chance for us to make a statement down in Texas and put our name on the board."

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