Mississippi State sophomore pitcher Trevor Fitts is getting the Game 1 start Monday night against UCLA in the CWS finals.
June 23, 2013 6:16:52 PM
OMAHA, Neb. - In the first game of the College World Series finals, Mississippi State University will be sending a sophomore right hander to the mound with just five career starts.
MSU coach John Cohen announced Sunday during the media teleconference, Trevor Fitts (0-0, 2.86) will get the baseball first after he threw the beginning 2 1/3 innings in a 5-4 victory over Indiana University.
"It was just an amazing feeling with all those people watching and stuff like that," Fitts said about his first CWS start. "I couldn't ask for a better experience, except to go for more innings obviously! But that all starts with me and how I throw the ball, pound the zone."
Fitts was effective for the first seven outs of the game as the Helena, Ala., native kept the Hoosiers off balance mostly with breaking balls in his first time through the order.
"My high school coach (Jeff Mauldin) was here said 'you threw a good game, I just don't understand why you threw so many breaking balls," Fitts said. "So even he's still wondering why I'm throwing certain pitches in certain situations."
With the announcement of Fitts, Cohen acknowldegd the more important aspect of the pitching staff to him and MSU pitching coach Butch Thompson is what they have available in the bullpen.
"That (starting pitcher question) is always going to get asked but I really feel like it's important for us to see who pitches in the middle of the game," Cohen said.
Chad Girodo went 6 1/3 innings of relief in the last game Fitt's started before giving the baseball to MSU closer Jonathan Holder for the final two outs of the evening.
"Coach (Butch) Thompson has reiterated that the whole season," Fitts said. "I remember the first day he texted all of us who is our best pitcher? And the correct answer to that is whoever is on the mound."
Fitts has started the first game of a tournament this season already as he got the start in the opening game of the Southeastern Conference tournament in Hoover, Ala., in what turned out to be a 17-inning thriller.
"It's great feeling because I love pitching in big ballparks, obviously since I chose Mississippi State," Fitts said. "Dudy Noble is awesome."
Fitts will face UCLA's Friday night starting pitcher in junior right hander Adam Plutko.
UCLA head coach John Savage announced after his team's Saturday practice session that the man who started the Bruins first game in Omaha, Neb., will take the mound in Game 1 of the CWS championship series.
Plutko will make his 19th start of the 2013 season against Mississippi State University Monday night after defeating Louisiana State University Sunday in the CWS opener for both clubs.
Against the Southeastern Conference Western Division champions, Plukto (9-3, 2.29) was brilliant as he held the Tigers to one earned run over seven innings in a 101-pitch performance against a SEC first-team selection in LSU sophomore Aaron Nola.
"Adam, I think, pitched to the ballpark a little bit," UCLA coach John Savage said. "That's his strength. He's a fly ball pitcher. I think anybody that follows us knows that."
Plutko was drafted in the 11th round by the Cleveland Indians two weeks ago after being drafted out of high school three years ago as a sixth round selection by the Houston Astros. Plutko has 28 career victories and is 2-0 in College World Series play in a Bruins uniform.
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. Adele Elliott: Book tour COLUMNS
5. Community Calendar for the week of April 20, 2014 ENTERTAINMENT