February 16, 2013 9:03:09 AM
STARKVILLE - Welcome to Dudy Noble Field for Game 2 of the 2013 season and the Dispatch MSU Sports Blog will bring you a comprehensive pre-game blog before the first pitch of every home game of the 123rd season of Mississippi State University baseball.
Also feel free to follow me for live game updates on Twitter through @matthewcstevens
WHAT HAPPENED YESTERDAY: MSU (1-0) pounded out 21 hits and had 11 different players score a run in a 16-1 blowout of the University of Portland Friday night to start the 123rd season of baseball at Dudy Noble Field. Bulldogs third-year players Wes Rea, C.T. Bradford and Daryl Norris all produced for a combined six hits, five RBIs and six runs scored against an overwhelmed Pilots (0-1) squad predicted by Baseball America to finish seventh in the West Coast Conference this season.
TODAY'S STARTING PITCHERS AND PROJECTED STARTERS:
PITCHER: Evan Mitchell - RHP - Junior - The right-handed power arm from Marietta, Ga., has been impressive in the preseason by reaching consistently in the 93 to 95 miles-per-hour range on his fastball but has been more impressive limiting his walks and high pitch counts.
"You kind of hope he makes the same jump that certainly Chris Stratton made," Cohen said. "He has eliminated a lot of what I call BM - big miss. When you miss big, it causes a whole variety of problems for you on the mound, and he's really eliminated a lot of that, and I think he's got a chance to be one of those three (weekend) guys."
Like Lindgren last season, Mitchell emerged on the scene late as a freshman two seasons ago after tossing eight innings in the NCAA Atlanta Regional win over Austin Peay less than a hour from his high school. Mitchell finished the regional win allowing just three earned runs over five hits including eight strikeouts in 128 pitches.
"A scouting friend of mine from the Chicago Cubs was here tonight and one of the guys with Toronto also," former Wheeler High baseball coach David McDonald said after that 2011 win. "They both came up to me and said 'Why didn't you tell me about Evan Mitchell? I said 'I did but you weren't paying attention'."
PROJECTED STARTERS (Friday's statistics):
C - Nick Ammirati, Sr., RH - (2012 statistics) .250, 2 RBI, 1.000 fielding % - Senior making his first start of 2013 season after having very productive fall camp and early spring scrimmages.
1B - Wes Rea, RS-Soph., RH - 1 for 2 w/ three runs scored and two RBI including a two-run home run in the first inning. Was the sixth career home run for the 265-pound first baseman.
2B - Brett Pirtle, Jr., SH - 0 for 2 w/ a RBI and a run scored including an HBP and being involved in all three double plays in the first four innings.
SS - Adam Frazier, Jr., LH - 3 for 4 w/ 3 runs, a RBI and a stolen base while also being involved in all three double plays in the first four innings.
3B - Daryl Norris, Jr.., RH - 3 for 3 w/ a run scored and having four defensive assists at third base.
LF - Demarcus Henderson, Jr., RH - 1 for 4
CF - C.T. Bradford, Jr.., LH - 2 for 4 w/ 3 RBI, two runs scored including a two-run home run. It was the third career home run for the junior from Pace, Fla.
RF - Hunter Renfroe, Jr., RH - 1 for 4 w/ RBI, a run scored and a walk.
DH - Trey Porter, Sr.., LH - 2 for 4 w/ 2 RBI and a run scored.
PORTLAND STARTING PITCHER: Travis Radke - LHP - Soph. - The southpaw from Thousand Oaks, Calif., was the West Coast Conference Freshman of the Year, Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American & All-WCC Honorable Mention. Radke went 7-4 overall and he ranked second in the WCC in opponents batting average (.197), fourth in ERA and sixth in strikeouts (85). Radke drafted in the 45th round of the 2011 MLB Draft by the Cincinnati Reds. What he lacks in velocity he makes up for in control and aggressive moxie. He's not shy about pitching to contact and to pitch to both sides of the plate. The second reason is that he has an equalizer, the curveball. There is improving stuff he's shown flashes of - a slider and a change-up -- the slider with a different action so it doesn't take from the curve. The change is always tough for most lefties.
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.
2. Columbus tree lighting to have new look, locale ENTERTAINMENT