Jags baseball team plays tournament in Starkville
South Alabama Jaguars (7-5)
Columbia Lions (0-3)
Mississippi State Bulldogs (7-6)
March 10-12 • Dudy Noble Field • Starkville, Miss.
Game 1 - Fri., March 10 - 2 p.m. - vs. Columbia
Game 2 - Fri., March 10 - 6:30 p.m. - vs. Mississippi State
Game 3 - Sat., March 11 - 4 p.m. - vs. Mississippi State
Game 4 - Sun., March 12 - 11 a.m. - vs. Columbia
On the Radio: Jaguar baseball games are broadcast live in Mobile on 99.5 FM The Jag, and also available via the iHeartRadio app.
Live Streaming: Both of the Jags' games against Mississippi State will be broadcast on SEC Network+ and available on WatchESPN.com.
Live Stats: Live stats for every South Alabama baseball game are available through the multimedia section of USAJaguars.com.
Twitter: Follow the official Twitter account of South Alabama baseball —
@SouthALBaseball — for news and updates.
Probable Starting Pitchers
Fri., March 10
USA - RHP Randy Bell (0-1)
Columbia - RHP Ethan Abrams (0-1)
Fri., March 10
USA - LHP Thomas Huston (0-0)
MSU - RHP Konnor Pilkington (1-2)
Sat., March 11
USA - RHP Harrison Spruiell (0-1)
MSU - LHP Peyton Plumlee (2-0)
Sun., March 12
USA - TBA
Columbia - TBA
Mississippi State holds a 45-25 all-time lead over South Alabama in a series that began in 1976. The Jaguars fell to the then No. 21-ranked Bulldogs 7-3 last season at Dudy Noble Field. USA last defeated MSU in 2015 with an 8-7 win in 11 innings at Stanky Field. The Jags are 1-5 against the Bulldogs under head coach Mark Calvi.
The series between South Alabama and Columbia is tied 2-2 after the teams split a four-game series at Stanky Field in 2011.
• South Alabama enters the weekend as the Sun Belt Conference leader in batting average (.326), on-base percentage (.444), slugging percentage (.479) and runs scored (112). The Jags rank second nationally in OBP, 14th in runs scored, 16th in walks (73) and 20th in batting average. USA also leads the SBC and ranks ninth nationally in fielding percentage (.985).
• Center fielder Travis Swaggerty carries a team-best nine-game hitting streak into the weekend, having recorded at least one hit in every game he has played in this season. Swaggerty has driven in runs in six of nine contests this year. He recorded career highs in hits (4) and RBI (3) in Tuesday's win at Auburn.
SWAGGERTY IN TOP 15 NATIONALLY
Travis Swaggerty enters the weekend as the Sun Belt Conference leader in batting average (.500), and ranks 12th nationally. He also leads the league in OBP (.625), which ranks fifth nationally.
BARNES NAMED TO JOHNNY BENCH AWARD WATCH LIST
Catcher Jared Barnes was named to the 2017 Johnny Bench Award Watch List presented by BaseballSavings.com, as announced by the Greater Wichita Sports Commission on Thursday. The award is given annually to the top Division I catcher. The watch list is composed of 85 student-athletes across the nation, and will be updated on May 1. The watch list will be narrowed to a semifinalist list on May 17, while finalists will be announced on June 5. Barnes enters the weekend batting .297 with one double, one home run, six RBI, seven runs scored and two stolen bases in 11 games played. He has recorded three multiple-hit games this season, including a two-hit performance Tuesday at Auburn in which he also drove in one run.
LABOUNTY LAST WEEK
Shortstop Drew LaBounty batted .538 with two doubles, five RBI, two runs scored and two stolen bases while posting a .647 on-base percentage and 1.339 OPS in four games last week. He hit safely in all four games, while recording multiple hits in three of four contests, and drove in at least run in all four games including one multi-RBI performance. He carries a five-game hitting streak into the weekend.
TWO OR FEWER TO WIN
USA is 3-0 when allowing two or fewer runs, but is 4-5 when surrendering three or more. However, the Jags have won two of the last three contests in which they have allowed three or more runs including Tuesday's 14-3 win at Auburn.
The Jaguars have scored 15 first-inning runs this season, outscoing the opposition 15-0 in the first frame, but have not plated a run in the ninth inning this year.
Of USA's 101 team RBI, 51 have come with two outs. Eddie Paparella leads the team with nine two-out RBI this season.
LEADING AFTER SEVEN
USA is 6-0 when leading after seven innings this season, but is 0-5 when trailing or tied after seven frames.
OFFENSE LEADS THE WAY AT AUBURN
USA scored 14 runs on 14 hits in Tuesday's win at Auburn, snapping a streak of four straight games with single-digit hit totals.
JAGUAR BULLPEN THROUGH 12 GAMES
The South Alabama bullpen has recorded four wins, one save and a 3.75 ERA in 48 innings pitched, and has struck out 52 batters against 15 walks while limiting the opposition to a .235 batting average.
TEN OR MORE RUNS
USA is 4-0 when scoring 10 or more runs this season and 7-2 when scoring six or more, but is 0-3 when scoring five or less.
The Jaguars have not committed an error in back-to-back games entering the weekend after committing three in its first two games of last weekend's tournament in Pensacola, Fla. USA leads the Sun Belt Conference and ranks ninth nationally in fielding percentage (.985).