by Knox Bardeen
The Ole Miss Rebels (23-14, 8-7 SEC) will host the Mississippi State Bulldogs (22-14, 6-9 SEC) on Tuesday at Trustman Park in Pearl, Miss., for the fifth annual Governors Cup game. The game will be televised on CSS with the broadcast beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET.
This neutral-site battle the game is played at the Double-A home of the Mississippi Braves is located 175 miles south of Ole Miss and 129 miles south of the Mississippi State campus.
The two teams have split the series, two games apiece. The Bulldogs took the first two years with Ole Miss winning the last two meetings.
Matt Tracy, the senior left-handed pitcher with a 3-2 record and a 4.46 ERA, will start the game for Mississippi. Tracy has made nine starts this season and has struck out 44 batters in 35 13 innings.
Mississippi State will send sophomore Kendall Graveman to oppose Tracy. The right-handed hurler has a 3-0 record with a 3.45 ERA, but hasnt made a start since March 30.
When it comes to baseball, Ole Miss doesnt have a career winning record against any of the SEC West schools. The Rebels are 74-74-1 (.500) against Auburn, 145-161 (.474) against LSU, 199-228-5 (.466) against Mississippi State, 28-35 (.431) against Arkansas and 140-189-2 (.427) against Alabama.
Matt Tracy had an impressive 11 strikeout performance on March 15 where he walked only one batter in seven innings. Since then, Tracy has walked 15 batters in four appearances and struck out 15. His ERA over that time period has been 4.91.
Ole Miss is 0-1 at neutral-site games this season, 6-4 in midweek games and 22-10 versus unranked opponents. Coming into Tuesdays game, the Rebels have won three straight, a series sweep over Kentucky.
Mississippi State is 1-0 at neutral-site games this season, 4-0 in Tuesday games and 15-8 versus unranked opponents. The Bulldogs snapped a five-game losing streak on Sunday when they beat 13th-ranked Arkansas in the series finale. In the month of April, Mississippi State is 3-8.
The Bulldogs come into Tuesdays game leading the SEC in walks drawn as a team. This is good news for Mississippi State as the opposing pitcher (Tracy) has walked eight batters in his last 4 23 innings.
Senior third baseman Jarrod Parks leads the Bulldogs with 16 multi-hit games and leads the SEC with a .395 batting average. Parks also leads the team with 25 walks, 10 doubles, three triples, 27 RBI, 68 total bases and a .567 slugging percentage.
Governors Cup Notes
The most runs scored in a Governors Cup game is 14, by Mississippi State in its 2007 win.
The most hits in a Governors Cup game is 16, by Ole Miss in its 2007 loss.
Ole Miss has scored first on three of the four Governors Cup games. The only time it did not score first is in 2007 when the Bulldogs scored three runs in the first inning.
The most highly-attended Governors Cup game was in 2008 when 7,862 fans watched Mississippi State win, 6-5.
Ole Miss has outhit Mississippi State in three of the four games, and has 46 hits over four games while Mississippi State has 38.
In three of the four games, the team that made the fewest errors won the game. In the fourth game (2009), both teams played error-free baseball.