TALLAHASSEE, Fla. | Previewing today's NCAA regional game between No. 2 seed MSU (40-23) and No. 3 seed Samford (40-22). First pitch is scheduled for 11 a.m. CT.
• TV: No TV, can be watched on ESPN3.com
• Starting pitchers: Mississippi State LHP Jacob Lindgren (2-2, 3.33) vs. Samford RHP Kyle Putkonen (3-5, 5.50)
MSU and Samford meet again, this time with the season on the line. Loser goes home, winner takes on top seed Florida State at 5 p.m. CT today. If MSU can beat Samford and beat FSU, then it will play the Seminoles again on Monday, because this is a double-elimination event and the host team hasn't lost yet.
So we've got that much straight. Back to this meeting between the Bulldogs and Bulldogs, the maroon-clad ones are looking to avenge Friday's 5-0 loss. MSU had five hits that game and stranded eight baserunners, suffering its third shutout of the season. Then yesterday, the bats awoke against UAB to the tune of nine hits in an 8-1 victory.
In Putkonen, State faces a guy who has made 14 starts with one complete game. In 72 innings, he's allowed 53 runs (44 earned) on 92 hits with 59 strikeouts and 26 walks. Opponents are hitting .311 against him with four home runs.
In his last outing, on May 26 vs. Furman, Putkonen tossed his lone complete game, allowing two runs on nine hits with five strikeouts and two walks.
Lindgren is making his second career start for State. In his first one, the freshman tossed 4 2/3 innings against LSU in the SEC Tournament on May 25. Lindgren allowed three runs (all earned) on five hits with three strikeouts and two walks. He got a no-decision as MSU won 4-3 in 10 innings.
"Tomorrow, Lindgren's going to be a big factor to potentially come in and get some left-handers out as well," MSU coach John Cohen said yesterday.
Samford has two left-handed bats in today's lineup, and one of them is Saxon Butler, who hit his 15th home run of the season on Friday versus MSU.
MSU will be the more well-rested team, as Samford coach Casey Dunn noted after last night's loss to FSU.
"Obviously, you have two sides of the spectrum. You have a team that's coming off a win and has had a lot of rest, and you have a team coming off a pretty tough loss – a frustrating loss – that has to turn around quick," Dunn said. "For us, hopefully we can mentally get over it."
MSU's lineup today once again includes Luis Pollorena in left field. He was 1 of 4 yesterday with a bunt single, a walk and a run scored.