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NCAA Super Regional pre-game: MSU vs. Florida (Game 3)

 

David Miller

 

---NCAA Super Regional at Gainesville 

 

Mississippi State (38-24, Swept Atlanta Regional) vs. Florida (49-17, Swept Gainesville Regional) 

 

Florida won game 1, 11-1; Mississippi State won Game 2, 4-3 

 

Winner of today''s game earned a College World Series berth 

 

Florida is shooting for second-straight CWS berth 

 

Mississippi State is looking to reach CWS for ninth time and first since 2007 

 

---Game time (Noon CDT) 

 

Broadcast: ESPN 

 

 

 

---Starting Pitchers 

 

---MSU: Sophomore LHP Luis Pollorena (7-5, 3.97 ERA)  

 

Through two games, Pollorena has waited patiently to get his shot at the Gators.  

 

Pollorena gets his shot today to make ammends for giving up the game-winning grand slam that sealed a 7-5 win for the Gators in the SEC tournament. He was also on the hook for the 3-1 loss to Florida in Starkville, though the two runs he conceded in 1 2/3 innings weren''t earned. 

 

Cohen says Pollorena is hungry and anxious to get on the mound. 

 

"That''s who he is and that''s why we love him so much," MSU coach John Cohen said. "His last outing against Florida wasn''t what he wanted, and that''s motivating him. Our kids really rally around that guy." 

 

Pollorena''s last start was in MSU''s 3-0 win over Southern Mississippi in the Atlanta regional, where he threw six shutout innings and gave up five hits. 

 

 

 

---Florida: TBA 

 

With Brian Johnson''s status still in doubt, Florida coach Kevin O''Sullivan has a tough decision about who he''ll start in today''s Game 3.  

 

Johnson, who suffered a concussion after being hit in the head with a throw to second base by catcher Mike Zunino, was Florida''s Saturday starter during the regular season.  

 

Johnson (8-3, 3.66 ERA) wasn''t cleared to play Saturday after O''Sullivan initially announced he''d be available for selection. 

 

After using starters Hudson Randall and Karsten Whitson, O''Sullivan is expected to start midweek pitcher Alex Panteliodis (6-2, 3.76).  

 

His most recent wins were against Vanderbilt in the SEC Tournament championship game and against Miami in the regional. 

 

However, if Johnson is cleared he could get a shot in the critical Game 3. O''Sullivan said Thursday that Johnson was impressive in bullpen sessions and looked refreshed after a two-week layoff. 

 

"I''m going to check on the health of a few players and then after that we''ll make a decision," O''Sullivan said.

 

 

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