June 11, 2011 9:54:00 AM
---NCA Super Regional at Gainesville
Mississippi State (37-24, Swept Atlanta Regional) vs. Florida (49-16, Swept Gainesville Regional)
Florida won Game 1, 11-1 and can clinch a spot in the College World Series with a win today
Game time (11 a.m. CDT)
---MSU: Freshman LH Nick Routt (3-3, 3.78 ERA)
At the beginning of the season, Routt was the biggest question of the pitching as he was coming back from elbow surgery that derailed his sophomore season. He was a freshman All-American, and with the pitching struggles the Bulldogs experienced in 2010, their pitching staff''s stability would hinge on Routt''s availability.
Today, Routt is looking to help MSU extend the Super Regional after an 11-1 loss to Florida on Friday.
Routt is coming off his best start of the season after logging MSU''s first complete game of the season to clinch the Atlanta regional against Georgia Tech. Routt gave up two earned runs on six hits to go along with six strikeouts. It was Routt''s most efficient outing of the season, as he threw 12.8 pitches per inning.
MSU coach John Cohen had this to say about Routt following Florida''s three home runs and early barrage of runs yesterday: "He can pitch off his fastball (but) he''s got to throw it in the strike zone. That''s what separates good teams from great teams: their ability to take pitches that are marginal that are balls. You got to throw strike one. If you do that it will hurt anybody''s plan all the way down. Stirke one has got to be our friend tomorrow.
"I''ll be shocked if he doesn''t throw well tomorrow. His preparation was very good this week."
Routt got a no-decision in MSU''s 3-1 loss to Florida in the rubber-match of their regular-season series. He surrendered one earned runs on six hits. He struck out six.
---Florida: Fr; RHP Karsten Whitson (8-0, 2.42 ERA)
A weekend starter in his first season in Gainesville, Whitson has put together the type of freshman season that Hudson Randall, who dominated Game 1 against MSU, did last year.
Whitson has the second lowest ERA of Florida''s starters. He''s a power-throwing righty, evidenced by his 77 strikeouts in 81.2 innings this season.
A former first-round draft pick of the San Diego Padres, Whitson turned down a $2 million contract to play pro ball. HE reportedly had a verbal agreement to sign with the Padres.
In Florida''s 3-1 win in Starkville, which clinched the regular-season series, Whitson gave up one earned run on six hits in 5.1 innings. He had three strikeouts.