March 2, 2013 10:12:05 PM
STARKVILLE - While it may sound more like a law firm, the combination of Mitchell and Mitchell was effective again on the mound for the Mississippi State University baseball team.
No. 5 MSU (13-0) made it 16 wins in a row at Dudy Noble Field as on a 30-degree day junior Evan Mitchell, sophomore Ross Mitchell and sophomore closer Jonathan Holder combined to hold St. Joseph's to five hits in a 4-1 victory Saturday.
Ross Mitchell (4-0) who now leads the nation in victories after making 24 appearances last joked the Mitchell-Mitchell combination is effective because of their contrasting styles that is more than being right and left-handed.
"Yeah, I think it works out great because he's a hard throwing righty and I'm a hard-throwing lefty," Ross Mitchell, who tops out at 85 miles per hour, said with a laugh. "Now it is two distant looks that hitters have to deal with and I think we compliment each other nicely."
Sophomore outfielder Tyler Fullerton delivered a pinch-hit RBI single in the seventh that scored pinch runner Derrick Armstrong and gave the Bulldogs a 2-1 lead. Designated hitter Mitch Slauter had opened the frame with a single and pinch-runner Armstrong swiped second base before trotting home on Fullerton's game-winning RBI.
"I told the team all day today that you're competing against the elements and the game today," Cohen said Saturday. "You're trying to keep yourself warm enough to execute certain things in the game and it's difficult."
With offense at a premium due to weather conditions that included snow and sleet falling in Starkville Saturday afternoon, the top of the of MSU order (junior Adam Frazier and junior C.T. Bradford) combined to go 5 of 8 at the plate with two runs scored.
Saturday's win marked the 100th at Dudy Noble Field for John Cohen as he works his fifth season as head coach at his alma mater.
State opened with junior righty Evan Mitchell on the mound. The Marietta, Ga., product struck out a season-high nine and worked around three hits and five walks, leaving a 1-1 game after five innings of mound work. Sophomore Ross Mitchell (4-0) entered the game in the sixth, yielding a single and a walk in his first inning of work before retiring the final eight batters he faced.
"I thought Evan had a very interesting day today with nine punch outs but five walks in a game usually gets you beat but I just thought the most valuable player of the day today was Ross Mitchell," Cohen said.
With his fourth save of the 2013 season after working a scoreless ninth inning, Holder is now tied with former MSU and current Philadelphia Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon for eighth place among MSU's career saves leaders with 13 successful game-closing performances.
The radio broadcast of both games of Sunday's doubleheader starting at 1 p.m., will be carried as local-only broadcasts on Columbus' WNMQ-FM (103.9).
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.
3. Columbus tree lighting to have new look, locale ENTERTAINMENT