STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA/MSU Athletics) – As just one month separates Mississippi State from Opening Day of the 2018 baseball season, the Diamond Dawgs have received their highest preseason ranking thus far, courtesy of a No. 12 listing in D1 Baseball's Preseason Poll.
On Dec. 19, State was ranked No. 13 in the Collegiate Baseball Preseason Poll and No. 25 by Perfect Game in its preseason poll on Jan. 10.
When it comes to Preseason All-American honors, Konnor Pilkington has received two (Collegiate Baseball and Perfect Game second team), while Jake Mangum (Perfect Game third team) and Spencer Price (Collegiate Baseball third team) have each received one. D1 Baseball named Pilkington the No. 12 overall prospect for the 2018 MLB Draft.
State is coming off a 40-27 year in 2017 that included a NCAA Regional Championship in year one of the Andy Cannizaro Era. On Feb. 16, MSU will open the 2018 season on the very field at which the regional title was won, Pete Taylor Park in Hattiesburg, Miss.
Fans will have opportunities to meet the 2018 Diamond Dawgs prior to Opening Day at a pair of free events on MSU's campus. Fan Day is set for Sunday, Feb. 11, while Cowbell Yell will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 13.