March 10-12  | Starkville, Miss. | Dudy Noble Field
Columbia (0-3)
ColumbiaSouth Alabama
So. Alabama (7-5)
March 10-12  | Starkville, Miss. | Dudy Noble Field
Columbia (0-3)
ColumbiaMississippi State
Miss. St. (7-6)
PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS
FRIDAY
COL - RHP Ethan Abrams (0-1, 3.0 IP, 3 K)
USA - RHP Randy Bell (0-1, 3.93 ERA, 22 K)


SATURDAY

COL - LHP Josh Simpson (0-0, 2.25 ERA)
MISS. ST. - TBD

SUNDAY - GAME ONE
COL - RHP Ty Wiest or LHP Ben Wereski
USA - RHP Harrison Spruiell (0-1, 4.50 ERA)

SUNDAY
COL - RHP Ty Wiest or LHP Ben Wereski
MISS. ST. - TBD

NEWS/NOTES

COLUMBIA’S STATUS
• The Lions dropped their first three games of the season at No. 2 Florida last weekend.
• Columbia out-hit the Gators in the final two games of the series.
• Junior infielder Randell Kanemaru recorded a hit in all three games and drove in three runs in the series. He leads the squad, batting .364.
• Junior RHP Ty Wiest started the series finale Sunday. It was his first appearance since the 2015 NCAA Coral Gables Regional after missing all of last season due to injury.

ABOUT SOUTH ALABAMA
• The Jaguars are coming off a 14-3 triumph at Auburn.
• Last weekend, they dropped two of three at the Cox Diamond Invitational in Pensacola, Florida. South Alabama fell to Southeastern Louisiana State and Seton Hall and defeated Troy.
• Travis Swaggerty is hitting .500 and has five stolen bases through nine games played. Eddie Paparella checks in with a .444 batting average and leads the club with two dingers and 17 RBI.
• On the hill, Thomas Huston has pitched 10.2 scoreless frames. He has made three appearances, including one start.

SERIES HISTORY - SOUTH ALABAMA
The Lions are 2-2 all-time against the Jaguars. The teams previously faced off in Mobile for a four-game series in 2011. South Alabama took the first two games and Columbia won the final pair.

COLUMBIA VS. THE SUN BELT CONFERENCE
Columbia holds a 4-5 record against teams currently in the Sun Belt Conference. The Lions have split series at South Alabama (2011) and Georgia Southern (2008). Columbia has also squared off against Coastal Carolina (a 10-2 defeat) in the 2008 NCAA Regional in Conway, South Carolina.

ABOUT MISSISSIPPI STATE
• The Bulldogs have dropped four of their last five, but all of those losses have come by just one run.
• Mississippi State lost two of three at Oregon last weekend and fell to No. 24 Louisiana Tech, 3-2, on Tuesday.
• Brent Rooker has been the Bulldogs’ top offensive threat across the board, hitting .396 with team-highs of three homers, 18 RBI and eight stolen bases.
• Relievers Ryan Rigby and Trysten Barlow have not allowed a run in a combined eight appearances (6.0) innings. Spencer Price has both of the Bulldogs’ saves.

SERIES HISTORY - MISSISSIPPI STATE
Columbia and Mississippi State will be meeting for the first time ever this weekend.

COLUMBIA VS. THE SEC
The Lions are 1-7 all-time against teams in the Southeast Conference. Columbia’s only win came at Tennessee on March 18, 1989, a 2-0 decision. Columbia opened the 2017 season at No. 2 Florida last weekend.

JULIAN BURY’S ‘EM IN RIGHT
It only took two games into first-year Julian Bury for him to go viral on the internet. His sensational diving catch in game two of the series at No. 2 Florida was NCAA.com’s No. 2 Play of the Week on March 6.

YOUTH MOVEMENT
Columbia lost nine key members (eight to graduation, one to MLB Draft) of last year’s squad, including five of the Lions’ top-six hitters and four of their primary pitchers (two starters, two key relievers). Last weekend at No. 2 Florida, Columbia saw four positional players and four pitchers make their collegiate debuts.

NCAA LEADERS
Although Columbia has played just three games, they do find themselves ranked third in the NCAA in fielding percentage (.989) after committing just one defensive miscue last weekend. Additionally, Ty Wiest’s 3.2 scoreless frames qualify him to be tied for the national lead in ERA.

OPENING STATEMENTS
Columbia will face the ultimate litmus test to begin the 2017 season. The Lions first five opponents all appeared in the NCAA Tournament a year ago. Columbia opened up with a three-game series at Florida from March 3-5 before heading to Mississippi State to face the Bulldogs and South Alabama (Mar. 10-12). The Lions will continue their spring break trip with two games against defending Conference USA Champions, Southern Miss (Mar. 14-15) and a three-game set at Tulane (Mar. 17-19), who went 2-2 at the Oxford Regional in 2016.

DIRTY HARRY
Right-handed pitcher and 2016 All-Ivy League second team selection Harrisen Egly became Columbia’s all-time leader in saves last season  as a sophomore. He currently has 10 career close-outs and tied the program’s single-season mark with five saves in 2015 and 2016. Egly was rated the No. 1 pro prospect in the Ivy League by Baseball America in the preseason.