October 15, 2013 9:55:55 AM
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State coach John Cohen announced Monday the baseball team's 56-game schedule for the 2014 season. The schedule includes 35 games at Dudy Noble Field, the best ballpark in the country, according to StadiumJourney.com.
MSU will play 22 games against eight teams that participated in the 2013 NCAA tournament.
"We have the best fans out there and want to reward them with the very best season-ticket package possible," said Cohen, the 2013 ABCA South Region Coach of the Year. "It is a very challenging schedule that our kids are extremely excited about."
Opening Day at Dudy Noble Field for the 2013 national runner-up will take be at 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14, against Hofstra in the schools' first meeting. The beginning of MSU's 124th season of baseball is part of a 16-game homestand that also will feature games against Memphis (Feb. 19), Holy Cross (Feb. 21-23), Mount St. Mary (Feb. 25-26), Michigan State and Eastern Illinois (Feb. 28-March 2), and South Alabama (March 5).
MSU then will head to the desert March 7-9 for a pair of non-conference clashes against Arizona and UC Santa Barbara. The meeting vs. 2012 national champion Arizona is the first time since MSU's three-game sweep in 2006 that the teams have met. It also will be the first battle between the clubs in Tucson since MSU won a 13-12 slugfest against No. 9 Arizona on March 13, 2005.
MSU will begin its 30-game Southeastern Conference slate March 14-16 at Georgia. It will return to Dudy Noble for a three-game set against Vanderbilt on March 21-23 before taking on Southeast Missouri on March 25. MSU will close the month with three games against Arkansas on March 28-30 at home.
MSU will travel to LSU on April 4-6. The Bulldogs then will stop by Trustmark Park in Pearl the following Tuesday to play Southern Miss. The Mississippi rivalries will continue when MSU plays host to Ole Miss on Super Bulldog Weekend April 11-13, when Bulldog fans will attempt to break the NCAA on-campus attendance record.
After a game against Alcorn State on April 15 at Dudy Noble Field, MSU will travel to Missouri for a three-game series April 18-20. It will be the Bulldogs' first SEC series against the Tigers since they joined the league.
The annual Governor's Cup game between MSU and Ole Miss in Pearl will be April 22. The Bulldogs will return home to face Texas A&M on April 25-27 and Jacksonville State on April 30. The three-game SEC set against the Aggies in Starkville will be the first series between the two in Starkville since the 1987 NCAA Mideast Regional.
MSU will wrap up its regular season May 2-4 with three-game matchup at Auburn, on May 9-11 at home vs. Tennessee for Senior Weekend, and May 15-17 at Alabama.
The SEC tournament will be May 20-25 at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium. The 2014 NCAA Division I Baseball Championship bracket will be announced May 26. The NCAA Regionals are scheduled for May 30-June 2. The Super Regionals will be June 6-9. The he College World Series will be June 14-25 at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb.
MSU returns 19 letterwinners from the 2013 team that went 51-20 last season, won a postseason tournament for the third-straight season, and advanced to the CWS Championship Series for the first time in program history.