State was able to get past Missouri in Day one of the SEC Tournament, 2-1. Mitch Slauter came off the bench to catch the last few innings in relief of Nick Ammirati and he got a base hit in the bottom of the 17th to score Kyle Hann (who was pinch running for Wes Rea).
Slauter hasn't played much since his broken hand but he brought his bat Tuesday night. He nearly ended the game in the 13th inning with a long fly ball to left, but the big ballpark in Hoover held it in.
Missouri's left handed starter, Z_______, pitched really well. He went nine innings only allowing the one run - a Hunter Renfroe single that scored Derrick Armstrong in the 5th inning.
State got a bunch of runners on base during the extra innings but just couldn't muster a run. Missouri, on the other hand, never really mounted any sort of rally against State's bullpen which went 13.2 innings of scoreless relief. It was the usual suspects: Girodo, Bracewell, Holder and Ross Mitchell. But throw Will Cox in as well as he finished the final three innings picking up the win.
John Cohen will have some decisions to make. He did what he had to do in pitching his best guys to make sure he won this single-elimination game. A loss would have meant MSU's first vs. a sub-top 100 RPI team. Girodo went 2.2, Bracewell 2.1, Holder 2.2 and MItchell 3.0. Who is available Wednesday vs. South Carolina.
Luis Pollorena will get the start vs. the Gamecocks. We'll need him to go deep, maybe into the 7th inning at least. I don't see how Ross Mitchell could be used - he pitched in all three games of the last series including 4.2 IP in Game 3. Maybe Girodo could get an out or two, and Holder could probably get a one-inning save, but the bullpen has been taxed early....and we don't want to over-use them in Hoover in preparation for the Regional.
And what about the position players? Renfroe, Bradford, Frazier, Pirtle and Rea basically played two baseball games last night. Should Cohen give one or more of these players the night off? I probably would. I may give two of them Game 2 off, and then two of them Game 3 off.
Game 2 vs. USC will be at the same time (approx. 8:00 cst) on Wednesday night.