Mississippi State left-handed senior pitcher Nick Routt could be replaced out of the Bulldogs weekend rotation. Photo by: MSU athletics
April 1, 2012 10:15:26 AM
STARKVILLE - My colleague Scott Walters - please give him a follow on Twitter on @dispatchscott - is providing you great coverage from the Mississippi State at Auburn baseball weekend series.
During the Bulldogs (18-10, 3-5 in Southeastern Conference) 10-6 loss at Auburn Saturday, Walters quoted MSU head coach John Cohen suggesting senior left-handed pitcher Nick Routt could be removed from the weekend rotation.
"Nick has to prove he can throw it down in the strike zone if he wants to see anymore mound time against SEC competition," Cohen said. "The first couple of innings, he did not pitch badly. We failed to make some plays behind him. However, to be effective in this league, you have to prove you can throw it down in the zone. He has not been able to do that."
Routt (1-4) was lifted after facing two batters in the third inning. The senior allowed four hits and five runs (three earned), with one strikeout and three walks against the Tigers yesterday.
Routt, who pitched a complete-game win against Georgia Tech in last season's Atlanta Regional championship, currently has a 6.97 earned run average in SEC play with an 0-3 record. Against conference opponents, which are hitting the southpaw with a .300 average, Routt has 12 strikeouts and seven walks in 10 1/3 innings.
Some of the candidates that could replace Routt's spot in the rotation are:
Sophomore right-hander Evan Mitchell (SEC stats): 2-0, 5.40 ERA, 9 K, 8 BB in 8.1 IP - Last year he was named to the NCAA Atlanta Regional All-Tournament team after tossing a career-best eight-inning, eight-strikeout gem against Austin Peay near his hometown in Marietta, Ga.
Sophomore right-hander Ben Bracewell: Hasn't received an appearance in conference play after feeling soreness in his pitching elbow. He is on the active roster and could pitch in relief today vs. Auburn. Had 10.1 scoreless innings in non-conference play.
Freshman right-hander Will Cox: Hasn't received an appearance in conference play but has five non-conference starts including being MSU's regular mid-week starter. Has a 4.74 earned run average this season with 21 strikeouts to only two walks.
All of the Dispatch MSU Sports Blog readers: feel free to follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/matthewcstevens for up-to-date Mississippi State coverage.
4. They Were All Very Merry at Pfaff's BOOK REVIEWS