March 18, 2013 12:18:52 PM
STARKVILLE - After losing its seventh consecutive series to Louisiana State University this past weekend, Mississippi State University fell in both the Baseball America and Perfect Game polls.
Mississippi State (19-4, 1-2) was able to salvage the Sunday finale with a 10-2 victory at Dudy Noble Field but the Bulldogs have fallen from preseason No. 5 to No. 17 in the Baseball America poll after losing back-to-back series to LSU and the University of Central Arkansas.
"I'm still not concerned about Mississippi State even though they lost two series at home," Baseball America national college baseball writer Aaron Fitt said on the BA Top 25 podcast Monday morning. "I still believe in their talent. They lost a 10-inning game Friday and came back Sunday to cruise to a win agains LSU. They could've very easily won two out of three. I still think this team is playing great baseball. Their offense is definitely better and their pitching is solid. They're going to be in Omaha."
Both of those programs MSU have lost to in consecutive weekends are ranked in the BA Top 25 poll with the Tigers (18-2, 2-1) remaining at No. 7 and UCA (17-3) entering the poll for the first time at No. 23.
"Immediately your mind wants to wander to Friday night where you're up 4-1 and if you make one different pitch to (LSU power hitter) Mason Katz that changes everything," MSU coach John Cohen said after the Sunday win. "That's the nature of this league though. If you make one mistake, these hitters will punish you."
Seven Southeastern Conference schools are ranked in this week's BA Top 25 (Vanderbilt 2, South Carolina 5, Mississippi 6, LSU 7, Kentucky 10, MSU 19, Arkansas 21) which is the most by any conference in Division 1 baseball.
In the Perfect Game Top 25 poll put together by senior reporter Kendall Rogers, MSU fell from No. 14 to No. 17 this week with LSU at No. 3 and UCA at No. 23. The same seven SEC schools in BA's poll are in Perfect Game's rankings but just in different order (Vanderbilt 2, LSU 3, South Carolina 7, Mississippi 8, Mississippi State 17, Arkansas 22).
Before a weekend road trip to to Lexington, Ky., to play Kentucky in a return for Cohen after coaching the Wildcats for five years, MSU will host Alcorn State (3-17) for a Tuesday night contest at 6:30 p.m. where Bulldogs sophomore right-handed pitcher Brandon Woodruff (1-1, 3.38) is scheduled to get the start.
All of the Dispatch MSU Sports Blog readers: feel free to follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/matthewcstevens for up-to-date Mississippi State coverage.
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