Mississippi State baseball made some noise over its first three games of the 2021 season as the Bulldogs went to the State Farm College Showdown and won a pair of games over Top-10 programs. So where does MSU go from here? Here's a quick look at a few notes headed into the middle of the week. Also check out Cowbell Corner publisher Joel Coleman's analysis in the video above.
Bulldogs bump up in rankings
MSU's wins over then-No. 9 Texas and then-No. 3 Texas Tech have the Bulldogs moving up in the national polls. D1Baseball released its latest rankings on Tuesday and State jumped two spots up to No. 5 in the country.
MSU moved up four positions in the Perfect Game poll. The Bulldogs were previously No. 12 there but are now No. 8.
Other major polls either haven't been released yet as of midday Tuesday, or were released prior to State's victory over Texas Tech on Monday.
Jackson State awaits
Mississippi State is set to host its home opener at 4 p.m. central Wednesday at Dudy Noble Field. The Bulldogs are slated to face off against Jackson State. You can watch the game via SEC Network+.
The Tigers' year is off to a rough start. Jackson State is 0-3 and the Tigers were shut out in all three games, losing 9-0, 10-0 and 14-0 to Mercer.
MSU hasn't announced a starting pitcher for Wednesday's game as of midday Tuesday. However it's likely safe to expect State head coach Chris Lemonis to turn to multiple arms, regardless of who begins the game on the mound.
One name Lemonis might possibly turn to on Wednesday could be expected weekend starter Will Bednar. Bednar didn't pitch over MSU's first three games of the year after he was scratched from his expected start due to neck soreness. Lemonis noted on Monday that'd he'd look to get Bednar some work in the midweek, though it's unclear if that work might come on the side or in live game action against Jackson State.
"We’ve got to get good work for Will in the middle of the week," Lemonis said. "Hopefully, we can do that and get him ready for the weekend."
While it appears Bednar is on a track to possibly be available for this weekend's home series against Tulane, fellow rotation member Eric Cerantola looks like he's more of a certainty to return. Cerantola also missed his first start of the year due to an undisclosed issue, but Lemonis noted Monday he's expecting Cerantola back this weekend.
"We should definitely have Eric back," Lemonis said.