PEARL –– Senior left-hander Brett Bukvich struck out a career-high 11 batters and did not walk one on the way to Most Valuable Player honors as he helped Ole Miss beat Mississippi State 8-1 to claim the Governor’s Cup. The fifth largest crowd in Trustmark Park history (7,458) watched Bukvich (5-1) pitch six innings and allow only one run on five hits with no walks as Ole Miss (26-10) claimed the annual non-conference contest between Southeastern Conference rivals.
STARKVILLE -- Kyle Roberts is happy to be practicing football in Oktibbeha County again. After taking a detour to East Mississippi Community College for two years, the former East Oktibbeha High School player has walked on at Mississippi State for spring practice. Roberts has been primarily a slot receiver in Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen’s spread offense and has worked his way up to second team.
Rachel Baucom is accustomed to winning when it comes to playing softball. She played on six state championship teams at New Hope High School and back-to-back state championship teams at Wallace State Community College in Hanceville, Ala. Baucom isn’t on a team that good this season, but she’s helping revive the softball program at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, Ark.
It has almost been 20 years since Mississippi State baseball coach John Cohen has competed as a player against the University of Mississippi. During his playing career with the Bulldogs (1988-90), Cohen remembers the rivalry with the Rebels wasn’t as intense as it is today.
The appearance of former Mississippi State football coach Jackie Sherrill at spring football practice last week has caused quite a stir. Sherrill’s possible interaction with the Bulldogs at Friday’s workout might have violated an NCAA bylaw regarding the limitation of coaches taking part in on-the-field teaching.
STARKVILLE — The Mississippi State football team was hard at work early Thursday, but it had nothing to do with spring football practice. The Bulldogs helped children from the T.K. Martin Center for Technology and Disability in Starkville participate in an Easter Egg hunt inside the Palmeiro Center. It was an opportunity to meet some of the children in the community and to have fun between classes.
STARKVILLE — The Mississippi State baseball team needs to make up some ground in a hurry if it is to avoid the fate it endured last season. Ever since John Cohen took over for Ron Polk, his goal has been to avoid a repeat of last season, when the Bulldogs finished 22-33 and 9-21 in the Southeastern Conference. MSU (18-15, 4-8 SEC) showed some signs of life this week in victories against the University of Alabama-Birmingham (10-0) and Southern Miss (7-6). It will try to build on that momentum this weekend at Tennessee (13-20, 1-11).
STARKVILLE — Whether it’s coaching in the Ivy League or in the Southeastern Conference, football is played the same way. Scott Sallach is finding that out as a member of Dan Mullen’s coaching staff at Mississippi State.
STARKVILLE — The Mississippi State baseball team found the momentum Wednesday night it will need in a weekend Southeastern Conference baseball series at Tennessee. The Bulldogs used a walk-off solo home run by junior designated hitter Ryan Duffy in the bottom of the ninth inning to defeat Southern Mississippi 7-6 at Dudy Noble Field.
STARKVILLE — O’Neal Wilder hopes the speed that helped him run a state best 48.3 seconds in the 400-meter dash at Carthage High School in 2006 will serve him well as a member of the Mississippi State football team. After a knee injury sidelined him last season, Wilder will try to get back in shape to provide the Bulldogs with a valuable weapon in coach Dan Mullen’s spread offense.
As a sophomore on the East Mississippi Community College golf team, Hal Larkin is making the most of a second chance. Larkin has the second lowest average on EMCC’s team after being academically ineligible to play as a freshman. Larkin, a 2007 graduate of Caledonia High School, has made the most of his last chance to play at EMCC by earning second-team all-state honors. He earned the honor based on being 10th in the state with a 76.7 stroke average.
STARKVILLE — The Mississippi State football team’s offense wasn’t spreading around much fun Saturday in its scrimmage. It is a sign the unit still has a long way to learn the new system of coach Dan Mullen. The offense had moments during a two-hour practice at the MSU practice fields, but the defense made the biggest statement.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State made sure it wasn’t going to lose a late-inning lead on Saturday afternoon. After blowing a 6-3 advantage in a 9-8 loss to Auburn on Friday night, the Bulldogs knew they had to handle a similar situation different in the second game of the series. MSU scored two insurance runs in the eighth inning and left-handed starting pitcher Nick Routt handled the rest as the Bulldogs beat Auburn 8-3 at Dudy Noble Field.
Ashley Jones had no idea she was going to win the state of Florida’s most prestigious basketball award. Five months ago, she didn’t even know if she would play basketball her senior season at Winter Park Lake Howell High School. But the Mississippi State women’s basketball signee recovered from a liver infection to become the school’s all-time leading scorer and to lead Winter Park (29-2) to the Class 5A state title, its first in school history. Jones’ performance this season helped her earn another honor. On Wednesday, Jones was chosen the Florida Dairy Farmers Miss Basketball winner. The award is voted on by state high school coaches and state sportswriters.
John Cohen and John Pawlowski are in new situations as head baseball coaches in the Southeastern Conference this season. Cohen already was an SEC coach at Kentucky, but he left and returned to his alma mater, Mississippi State, replacing Ron Polk, while Pawlowski took over for Tom Slater at Auburn. The Bulldogs and Tigers meet this weekend at Dudy Noble Field, and both programs are still trying to win on a consistent basis in the conference. The series takes place at 6:30 p.m. today, 2 p.m. Saturday, and 1:30 p.m. Sunday.
STARKVILLE — Leon Berry experienced success as a wide receiver at East Mississippi Community College by reaching the second round of the junior college playoffs last season. He hopes that success rubs off on Mississippi State. “We’re going to try and turn this program around,” Berry said. Berry, one of the Bulldogs’ mid-term signees, is adjusting slowly to Division I-A football after being an All-American in junior college.
Get the popcorn ready. Mississippi State’s Student Association and the school’s athletic department are planning a movie night April 16 on the new video board at Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field.
STARKVILLE — One of the rewards for offensive line coach John Hevesy when he joined Dan Mullen’s football staff at Mississippi State was getting a chance to work with Derek Sherrod. While at Florida three years ago, Hevesy recruited the former Caledonia High School player for the Gators.
STARKVILLE –– Tuesday’s spring football practice at Mississippi State ended differently than the previous one. After the offense scored a touchdown to end a scrimmage Saturday, the defense made a statement Tuesday at the end of a three-hour practice. Linebacker Jamie Jones intercepted a pass from quarterback Chris Relf that caused the defense to celebrate much like the offense did Saturday.
When Ben Fleming signed a scholarship to play baseball at Southern Polytechnic State University in Marietta, Ga., he believed it was an opportunity to play for a championship. Fleming, a junior outfielder from Columbus, is halfway through his first season at Southern Polytechnic, and he still believes the team has a chance to win a title. Southern Polytechnic (29-4), of the Southern States Athletic Conference, is off to its best start in school history and is ranked No. 3 in the NAIA Coaches Top 25 poll.
2. Baseball Bulldogs hit road for major weekend COLLEGE SPORTS
3. MSU softball faces No. 8 Kentucky for weekend series COLLEGE SPORTS
4. MSU, Alabama, Ole Miss women fall in SEC Tournament COLLEGE SPORTS