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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Baseball heads to Mississippi for games against Samford and Mississippi State

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Rebecca Noble

Arizona baseball infielder Scott Kingery (25) tosses the ball back to Arizona pitcher Xavier Borde during Arizona’s 13-0 win against Oakland at Hi Corbett Field on Wednesday. Kingery and the Wildcats have four total matchups with Samford and Mississippi State over the weekend.

Arizona baseball hits the road for the first time this season, traveling into SEC country for four games in hostile weather, including a pair of games with an undefeated national power.

The Wildcats (8-2) play in a round robin tournament at No. 13 Mississippi State this weekend, with a pair of games against MSU and two versus Samford.

Arizona senior catcher Riley Moore said playing an SEC team reminds him of his freshman season when the team played at Auburn.

“That Friday night, [coach Andy Lopez] came in and talked about how he coached in the SEC,” Moore said, “How everything is glitz and glam, and they’ll come with eye black for a night game and the wrist tape and everything will be pretty, but just to grind the heck out of them and beat the heck out of them, and watch in the second inning, they’ll wilt away.”

Friday, the Wildcats face Samford at 11 a.m. MST and then Mississippi at 3 p.m. MST on the SEC Network+, a digital-only channel through WatchESPN. Then on Saturday, the Wildcats will play the Bulldogs at 10 a.m. MST on the SEC Network before facing Samford on Sunday at 11 a.m. MST.

“We’ll see how we travel; we’ll see how tough we are on the road,” Lopez said. “We’ll see what it’s like instead of hearing the ‘U of A’ chant, hearing cowbells for a weekend.”

Mississippi State (9-0) is undefeated, but its wins have come against Cincinnati, Miami of Ohio, Mississippi Valley State, Marshall and Alabama A&M.

MSU hasn’t announced its starters other than Preston Brown (2-0, 2.45 ERA), who will take the mound against Arizona on Friday.

“I’m pumped,” Arizona second baseman Scott Kingery said. “It’s just like Rice coming in last weekend; we got a tough opponent, we got Mississippi State. We’re going to see some good pitching, and hopefully we can battle and compete like we did against Rice and walk away with some wins.”

Lopez said Arizona’s starting pitchers will be Tyger Talley (1-0, 4.22 ERA) Friday against Samford, Austin Schnabel (1-1, 7.71 ERA) against Mississippi State on Friday and Robby Medel (1-0, 1.46 ERA) and Xavier Borde (2-0, 0.00 ERA) on Sunday.

Samford’s probable starters against Arizona are Alex Ledford (1-1, 3.60 ERA) on Friday and Cole Limbaugh (0-1, 16.50 ERA) on Sunday.

Samford (3-4) is on a two-game losing skid after losing at Troy on Tuesday. SU lost a series to Radford at home and won one against Austin Peay, also at home.

The high in Starkville, Miss., will be 39 degrees Fahrenheit on Friday and then the highs will be in the 50s on Saturday and Sunday.

UA athletic director Greg Byrne, who held the same job at Mississippi State, tweeted an offer to move the game to Tucson with a laughing emoji and a photo of MSU’s field covered in snow from Wednesday.

“It’s cold,” Moore said. “It’ll be cold for us, and it’ll be cold for them. Whatever we deal with, they deal with as well. It’s no big deal; you go out and play baseball.”

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Follow James Kelley on Twitter.

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