28 Dec

comin’ down

Hard to believe, but four weeks from today, the Mississippi college baseball season will begin. And it will begin for the first time in many years without two legendary coaches: Hill Denson, who retired from Belhaven University, and Mike Kinnison, who became fulltime athletic director at Delta State. They’ll be missed. The 2020 season launches on Saturday, Jan. 25, when Tougaloo College, an NAIA member, plays Loyola University in New Orleans. The first games within the state borders are scheduled for Jan. 31, when NAIA William Carey University hosts Missouri Baptist in Hattiesburg and NAIA Blue Mountain College hosts William Woods for a twinbill. NCAA Division II schools Delta State and Mississippi College open at home with doubleheaders on Feb. 1, the Statesmen starting the Rodney Batts era against East Central (Okla.) University and the Choctaws meeting Harding University. D-III programs Millsaps College and Belhaven open on Feb. 7, with the Majors hosting LeTourneau and the Blazers starting the Kyle Palmer era against Randolph-Macon in a tournament at Montgomery, Ala. The D-I schools start on Feb. 14, four of the six playing at home. The marquee opener features Louisville, ranked No. 1 by Collegiate Baseball, taking on Ole Miss in Oxford. Mississippi State, ranked sixth by CB, hosts Wright State, Southern Miss welcomes Murray State and Jackson State brings in Southern Illinois. Alcorn State will open against Prairie View on Feb. 14 in New Orleans in the Andre Dawson Tournament (formerly the Urban Invitational). Mississippi Valley State’s schedule has not been released. Mississippi University for Women, a United States Collegiate Athletic Association member, starts its third season on Feb. 14 at Morehouse in Atlanta. NAIA Rust College has not released a schedule. … The Trustmark Park college schedule includes a six-team event matching SWAC and MEAC schools on Feb. 21-23. Alcorn and Jackson State are in the field. USM and State play in Pearl on March 4, USM and Ole Miss meet there on March 31 and the Ole Miss-State Governor’s Cup clash is set for April 21.

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