Bulldog World Series Opens Friday at DNF

STARKVILLE, Miss. - One of the final rites of fall baseball at Mississippi State University unfolds Friday at Dudy Noble Field with the opening game of the 2011 Bulldog World Series.

MSU's 38-player roster was divided this week for the series, which has been expanded to seven games this year. Games are scheduled Friday, Saturday and Sunday this weekend (Oct. 28-30) and next weekend (Nov. 4-6) with a single midweek game set Wednesday (Nov. 2). All of the games are open to the public with no charge for admission

Two former SEC All-Freshman team selections are slated to draw game-opening mound duty in Friday's 4:15 p.m. series-opener.

Junior right-hander Chris Stratton from Tupelo, Miss., will take the hill for Team Grey while redshirt junior lefty Nick Routt of Silver Spring, Md., will open on the mound for Team Black. Routt was an SEC All-Freshman team pick in 2009 while Stratton earned the same honor in 2010.

First pitch is set for Noon both Saturday and Sunday and 4:15 p.m. next Wednesday.

Routt and senior outfielder Brent Brownlee of Oxford, Miss., will serve as captains of Team Black while a pair of senior lefties, Wednesday starting pitcher Tim Statz of St. Louis., Mo., and relief ace Caleb Reed of Cleveland, Miss., will captain Team Grey.

Junior right-hander Kendall Graveman of Alexander City, Ala., will pitch opposite freshman righty Brandon Woodruff of Wheeler, Miss., in Saturday's contest while a pair of freshman right-handers, Will Cox of Amory, Miss., and Trevor Fitts of Helena, Ala., are set for Sunday starts.

MSU returns 16 lettermen and 14 of the 16 pitchers that helped Mississippi State advance to the championship game of the NCAA Gainesville Super Regional and within eight outs of the program's ninth berth in the prestigious NCAA College World Series. John Cohen's third MSU edition, ranked as high as 15th in the final national polls, posted a 38-25 record.

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