Diamond Dawgs rise to No. 2 in national rankings

 

Chris Lemonis

Chris Lemonis

 

 

Ben Portnoy

 

 

The good times continue to roll for the Mississippi State baseball team Monday following a 3-1 record last week. 

 

The Diamond Dawgs were ranked No. 2 in D1Baseball.com's latest poll, up from No. 6 the week prior, following a 2-1 road series win over then-No. 5 Florida this past weekend and an 18-1 victory over Grambling State last Wednesday. 

 

MSU's 4-2 loss in the nightcap of Saturday's doubleheader against the Gators was its first in 15 games. 

 

"I am happy for our guys," head coach Chris Lemonis said after the Florida series. "We played hard. We played with a lot of intensity. We competed all weekend long, even in the nightcap. That was a really good game, and some balls just went their way and not ours. That is one of the best teams in the country and I am really happy with our effort." 

 

With a Tuesday night 6:30 p.m. contest at home against Little Rock, a Wednesday affair at Samford and a weekend series in Starkville versus No. 12 Auburn, the slog of the college baseball season continues this week for MSU. 

 

With the Tigers coming to town, it will mark the fifth straight week the Diamond Dawgs will face off against a ranked opponent. 

 

Offensively, MSU has been on a tear of late. In its four contests last week, the team totaled 36 runs -- good for an average of nine per game. 

 

Further, senior outfielder Elijah MacNamee, who boasts a team-high .380 batting average, extended his strong start to 2019 with multi-hit games in all four games. 

 

MacNamee also drove in an RBI in all but one of last week's matchups. His reached base and hit streaks now stand at 15 and 11 games, respectively. 

 

The Cypress, Texas, native was named SEC Player of the Week Monday afternoon for his efforts -- the first time any Diamond Dawg has earned that distinction since Brent Rooker did so three times in 2017. 

 

As for the upcoming week, Little Rock enters the Tuesday matchup a meager 6-14 with losses in seven of its last 10 games, while Samford is 14-5 and took two of three from Maine over the weekend. 

 

Meanwhile, Auburn is fresh off a three-game home sweep of then-No. 21 Tennessee and takes on UAB Tuesday in Birmingham before heading to Starkville.

 

 

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