CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. | Previewing today’s NCAA Super Regional game between No. 14 MSU and No. 6 Virginia.
• First pitch: Noon (Central)
• TV: ESPN2, ESPN3.com
• Records: MSU 46-18, Virginia 50-10
• Pitching matchup: MSU RHP Kendall Graveman (6-5, 2.94) vs. Virginia LHP Brandon Waddell (6-2, 3.80)
• MSU lineup: SS Adam Frazier, 3B Alex Detz, RF Hunter Renfroe, 2B Brett Pirtle, 1B Wes Rea, CF C.T. Bradford, LF Demarcus Henderson, C Nick Ammirati, DH Derrick Armstrong
• Virginia lineup: LF Mike Papi, 1B Jared King, RF Joe McCarthy, CF Brandon Downes, DH Derek Fisher, 2B Reed Gragnani, SS Nick Howard, 3B Kenny Towns, C Nate Irving
• What to watch for: MSU appears to be loose and ready for this super regional, and that’s good, but a big matchup to watch will be State’s bullpen versus Virginia’s offense in the late innings. The Cavaliers have been very good at making comebacks and scoring late, while MSU has gotten superb bullpen work all season long. So if UVA falls behind early, it should be a fun matchup to watch. Graveman is a senior who’s pitched in this type of setting before, making two relief appearances in the Gainesville Super Regional two years ago. He’s facing an offense that’s batting .313 this season, and in the regional last week, Virginia batted .302 but scored just two runs in two of the three games (all wins). Waddell is a freshman who in his last six outings is 4-1 with an ERA of 4.00. MSU can advance to its ninth College World Series with a pair of wins, while Virginia is looking for its third appearance.
• Pregame playlist: A few songs from my iPod to set the tone…
–”Sucker,” Water Liar
–”Bust a Move,” Young MC
–”Thrift Shop,” Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
–”Shelf in the Room,” Days of the New
–”What a Little Bit of Love Can Do,” Jeff Bridges