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  • http://www.southalabama.edu/athletics/pressrelease/2004/03/release08bbpreview.html

    The Jaguars, 3-8 on the year, will play a ranked opponent for the eighth and ninth times this season when it clashes with the Bulldogs. Mississippi State, ranked No. 17 in this week's Collegiate Baseball poll, is off to a 7-0 start. USA trails the all-time series 31-22, but the two teams haven't played since 2002. The two teams played at least once for 27 straight years before the series came to a halt last season. MSU will return the trip to Stanky Field next season. USA has beaten the Bulldogs three of the last four meetings, including a two-game sweep in Mobile during the 2002 season. The two teams split a pair of games in Starkville during the 2001 campaign. USA carries a 2-3 road mark into the mid-week ledger. After getting swept in its three-game season-opening series at No. 21 Texas A&M, the Jags have registered road victories at No. 24 Southern Miss 9-2 and Jacksonville State 5-2. Junior infielder Justin Hawarah has led the recent Jaguar offensive charge. The third-year player from Monroeville, Ala., owns a team-best .414 batting average. He also ranks second in RBI with seven. Sophomore right fielder Adam Lind, who hit .500 (10-20) last week, has increased his bating mark to .327. USA is hitting .262 as a team and sports a 4.96 earned run average. Defensively, USA has struggled at times with a .948 fielding percentage.

    [font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The Jags return to Stanky Field later in the week to host the 19th annual Coca-Cola Classic. The three-day, round-robin format begins Friday at 2:30 p.m. as reigning Southland Conference champ McNeese State battles Big-Ten powerhouse Ohio State. At 6 p.m., USA will play host to Big South Conference power Winthrop. USA plays Ohio State in the 2:30 p.m. early game on Saturday, while Winthrop clashes with McNeese State at 6 p.m. Sunday's final round features Ohio State vs. Winthrop at 11 a.m., while USA closes tourney play against McNeese State at 2:30 p.m.[/font]