JACKSON, Miss. – The Mississippi Valley State University baseball program will head to Braddy Field with an eye on continuing an unexpected slump for Jackson State while snapping an 11-game winless streak versus the Blue Bengals dating back to 2019.
Coach Stanley Stubbs’ soldiers started the season not even on the radar for the Black College Nines’ Large School HBCU Top-Ten but have received votes in all three editions since, climbing as high as sixth on March 20th.
What You Need to Know
- Time and Dates: Friday, April 8 (6 p.m.) | Saturday, April 9 (4 p.m.) | Sunday, April 10 (1 p.m.)
- Video: https://jacksonstatesportsnetwork.com/ (JSU Sports Network)
- Audio: N/A
- Tickets: N/A
- Records: Mississippi Valley State (9-11-1, 3-6 SWAC) | Jackson State (13-16, 1-8 SWAC)
- Location: Jackson, Mississippi – Braddy Field
- Series History: N/A
- Last Meetings: May 7-9, 2021 | Jackson State Won Series 3-0 (Combined 37-6) | Jackson, Mississippi (Braddy Field)
- Winning Streak: Jackson State (W11) | Mississippi Valley State’s Last Win: March 16, 2019 (2-0)
Mississippi Valley State Overview
The Green and White went toe-to-toe with the SWAC East leaders last weekend and will follow that series with last year’s champs who have sunk to the division basement at 1-8.
Valley is third-best among five SWAC teams in the nation’s top-15 for stolen bases per game, coming in at number six with an average of 2.33 a night. They also hold a top-60 offensive unit for both batting average (.291) and scoring (7.3).
Fresh off the program’s first SWAC Hitter of the Week award since 2011, Dreylin Holmes is starting to make a dent in the national leaderboards as well. The Rust transfer from Griffin, Georgia currently leads the conference in home runs per game (0.32, top-75 in NCAA), ranks second for slugging percentage (.700, top-70 in NCAA), and slots fourth for runs per game (1.11, top-120 in NCAA) to go along with the club leader for batting average (.329), total bases (49), hits (23), runs scored (21), walks (10), doubles (6), and homers (6).
Maury Weaver has held firm at the top of the NCAA leaders regarding steals, sitting at 26th overall with 15 swipes while jumping to ninth nationally in terms of stolen bases per contest (0.75).
Ty Washington sits just five points below the coveted .300 batting average (.295) and has been the squad’s biggest run producer with 18 RBIs while tying Holmes for the hits lead (23).
Pitching-wise, a trio of sophomores hold down the starting rotation in Calvin McClendon, Hunter Stallings, and Isaiah Valenzuela. McClendon is the ERA (4.31), innings (39.2), and batting average against (.239) frontrunner. Stallings is the strikeout king with 29 over only 26.1 frames (9.91 K/9) and Valenzuela tops the team in victories at three.
Scouting The Opponent: Jackson State Tigers
While it has been a steep fall in the standings for JSU, it does not mean they are not still a dangerous adversary. They have showcased lockdown pitching as they are top-40 nationally in H/9 (8.03) and leads the SWAC with a 1.50 WHIP plus a 9.5 K/9.
Jatavius Melton and Ty Hil have been the dynamic duo in the lineup for Coach Omar Johnson and staff, as they both are top-five in the Southwestern Athletic Conference regarding hits and runs scored with the former a top-20 base stealer nationwide (17) and the latter among the top-25 for triples (3).
The pitching staff has been a collective effort on the majority except for starters Erik Gonzales and Juan Marulanda, each of which are second in the conference for strikeouts, compiling 50 whiffs apiece.
#ValleyInMotion | #ForkEm | #LitBena