Great pitching beats great hitting, every baseball fan knows that. Obviously you’d like to have both, but if you have to chose one or the other, you’d go with the pitching. And that is what Mississippi State has – great pitching.
This past weekend MSU held Florida, one of the most potent offensive teams in the SEC, to 13 total hits. They shut the Gators out on Saturday for a 2-0 win. While the Dawgs’ offense was only able to muster 4 runs the entire series and lost 2 games to 1…it’s clear that MSU has a chance in the Regionals because of a solid pitching staff.
We all know about Chris Stratton. He actually took his first loss of the year vs. Florida to go to 9-1, but he is one of the best pitchers in the nation. State’s #2 starter, Kendall Graveman, has put together some great games so far this year: a complete games against LSU and Tennessee, plus the gem he threw on Saturday vs. Florida. Graveman doesn’t have the W-L record (4-3) of Stratton, but his E.R.A. is comparable – 2.69 to Strat’s 2.22.
From there it drops off a little, but not much. Luis Pollorena is 3-0 with a 1.32 E.R.A. (not sure why he isn’t the official Sunday starter – maybe Todd4State knows the answer to that). Ross Mitchell is 1-0 with a 1.32 E.R.A. All-American closer Caleb Reed has a 2.98 E.R.A., Evan Mitchell is under 4, and Nick Routt – who seems like he has struggled more than anyone – is only at 4.12. Then the guy coming on the most is Johnathon Holder, who has a flawless 0.00 E.R.A. with 4 saves.
All of this with only minimal contributions from Ben Bracewell and Taylor Stark, who have been hampered by injuries most of the year.
I am willing to bet that MSU has a deeper staff than almost anyone they will go up against in the Regionals – or Super Regionals. The offense will be in question, but MSU knows they have a chance to win each game because of the great pitching. I’m looking forward to the postseason, I think the Diamond Dawgs have a team that could make a run.