Leather popping. Bats, uh, clanking. Infielders chattering. Yes, college baseball is what’s goin’ down this weekend around the Magnolia State. While Mississippi State is hosting Kentucky in an SEC showdown at Dudy Noble Field in Starkville, there are notable games also in Itta Bena, Cleveland, Clinton, Blue Mountain, Jackson, Columbus and Holly Springs. Jackson State (14-7, 9-0 SWAC) visits Mississippi Valley State (0-9, 0-6). The Delta Devils dodged a likely beatdown from MSU when Tuesday’s game was rained out, but they figure to take some lumps from the Tigers, who outscored Alabama A&M 36-5 in a series last weekend. Delta State (12-10, 10-10 Gulf South) takes a six-game win streak into a league series against Valdosta State at Ferriss Field, and Mississippi College (8-13, 5-11 GSC) rides a four-game wave into its series against West Georgia at Frierson Field. Up at Blue Mountain, the Toppers (11-8, 2-4 SSAC) welcome in-state rival William Carey (16-7, 1-5) in a key conference series. Carey leads the all-time series 22-4, but BMC’s program is on the rise. At Twenty Field in Jackson, Millsaps (6-16, 4-8 SAC), recovering from a disastrous start, welcomes D-III nationally ranked Birmingham-Southern, always a power in their conference. At Columbus High today, MUW, 12-3 with seven straight W’s, takes on Tougaloo (2-15) in a twinbill. The Owls then play two against Rust College in Holly Springs on Saturday. Matt Wolfenbarger has put together a solid D-III program in short order at The W, which is 3-1 against Tougaloo and 2-0 vs. Rust, both NAIA schools.