Mississippi State freshman right-handed pitcher Brandon Woodruff will get the start today in the 2012 Southeastern Conference tournament championship game after tossing five scoreless innings against Arkansas Tuesday in Bulldogs opening day win in Hoover, Ala.
May 27, 2012 7:26:01 AM
Mississippi State University freshman right-handed pitcher Brandon Woodruff (0-2, 3.46) will get his second start in Hoover when he is handed the baseball today in the Southeastern Conference tournament championship game against Vanderbilt University.
The start against Vanderbilt University, which will be on four days rest, will be his sixth start of the 2012 season. Woodruff threw a bullpen session at Hoover (Ala.) High School before MSU's 2-1 victory Saturday in the SEC tournament semifinal round against the University of Kentucky convincing the coaching staff the 18-year-old would be ready to start if MSU advanced to the title game.
"With Woody I think it's like this - he's got to go play catch and get it fired up and say 'well, I don't know' or 'hey coach it feels great' because that's where the communication comes in," Cohen said Saturday. "Most of our pitchers will come to (MSU pitching coach) Butch Thompson and say 'hey, it's not happening today' or 'hey I can really do this today' and those are the things you have to know if you're going to win one-run games."
In his first ever SEC start Tuesday, Woodruff (1-2, 2.90) tossed five scoreless innings in the 24th-ranked Bulldogs 9-1 victory over the University of Arkansas to open the tournament play for both schools.
"If he really jams the strike zone, he's really good," Cohen said Tuesday. "It does two things because while it's economical and allows him to get through deeper in a game but it's also power pitches at well. His ability to throw it down in the zone is really coming along."
The Wheeler native that was an Under Armour All-American selection mixed in a 92-93 miles-per-hour fastball Tuesday with a devastating overhand curveball to get five strikeouts in a 72-pitch effort.
"What I was trying to do is work in on the right-handed hitters just to show them I wasn't afraid to pitch inside and then come back with slider or another breaking pitch away," Woodruff said Tuesday. "I really think working both sides of the plate really helped me out today."
Vanderbilt coach Tim Corbin didn't officially name a starter after his team defeated the University of Florida Saturday night in the second semifinal game. Corbin suggested Tyler Beede, Drew VerHagen, Philip Pfeifer and Will Clinard as available pitchers. VerHagen threw one pitch and Clinard threw 35 on Saturday.
If Beede gets the start for the Commodores, it would be a matchup between two highly regarded 2011 high school prospectsas Tyler Beede of Lawrence Academy in Groton, Mass., was the only first-round pick not to sign this past summer, turning down $2.4 million from the Toronto Blue Jays to attend Vanderbilt. Beede was the 21st overall pick of the draft.
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