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Diamond Dogs No. 5 in preseason

Per MSU Media Relations

STARKVILLE, Miss. --- Mississippi State will begin 2013 preseason baseball practice Friday afternoon at Dudy Noble Field sporting its highest preseason national ranking since 1989.

Baseball America ranked John Cohen’s fifth MSU baseball edition at No. 5 in the annual preseason ranking announced Thursday by the Durham, N.C.-based publication. It’s the third top 20 ranking for the Mississippi State this season and the program’s highest since State took a program-first No. 1 preseason national ranking into the 1989 campaign.

The Bulldogs open their formal preseason team workouts with a trio of afternoon scrimmages this weekend --- Friday at 4 p.m., Saturday at 1 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. All MSU baseball practices are open to the public.

Collegiate Baseball newspaper ranked State 13th and Perfect Game placed MSU at 16th in the two previously-announced preseason polls.

North Carolina heads up the Baseball America rankings which include eight teams from the Southeastern Conference: No. 2 Vanderbilt, No. 3 Arkansas, No. 5 Mississippi State, No. 7 South Carolina, No. 10 LSU, No. 11 Kentucky, No. 13 Ole Miss and No. 17 Florida.

Mississippi State’s oldest sport opens its 123rd season of competition and a school-record 37-game home schedule Feb. 15-17 when the Bulldogs host Portland in a four-game set at Dudy Noble Field. The sale of State baseball season tickets, available through the MSU Athletic Ticket Office (www.HailState.com/tickets - 662-325-2600) have climbed to 5,283 and nearing the school-record 5,632 total distributed in 2010.

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