OMAHA, Neb. | Previewing today’s College World Series game between No. 14 Mississippi State and No. 8 Indiana.
• First pitch: 7 p.m.
• TV: ESPN2, ESPN3.com (Mike Patrick, Orel Hershiser and Jessica Mendoza)
• Records: MSU 49-18, Indiana 49-14
• Pitching matchup: MSU RHP Trevor Fitts (0-0, 2.42) vs. Indiana LHP Will Coursen-Carr (5-0, 1.80)
• 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
• Indiana lineup: RF Will Nolden, C Kyle Schwarber, 1B Sam Travis, DH Scott Donley, SS Michael Basil, 3B Dustin DeMuth, LF Casey Smith, 2B Chad Clark, CF Justin Cureton
• What to watch for: MSU will try to secure its first 50-win season since 1990, but more important, it hopes to earn a few days off. The winner of this game won’t play again until Friday. The Hoosiers are coming off a 2-0 win over Louisville on Saturday, while MSU took a 5-4 win over Oregon State that day. Indiana showed it can pitch and defend it well, but this is a potent offense. MSU did well against a dangerous Virginia offense last weekend, and this is a pitcher’s park. Fitts is making his third start of the NCAA tournament. In the previous two, he has allowed three runs (one earned) on three hits in five innings of work.
Coursen-Carr will be the third freshman starter MSU has faced in the last four games. Against the other two – Virginia’s Brandon Waddell and Oregon State’s Andrew Moore – the Bulldogs totaled 10 runs (six earned) on 12 hits in 10 2/3 innings, tagging Moore for a season-high four earned runs. Coursen-Carr has 16 appearances with 10 starts, and he has struck out 33 batters this year versus 25 walks. He’s had eight walks in 10 1/3 innings of NCAA postseason work. The winner of this game is off until Friday, while the loser takes on Oregon State on Wednesday in an elimination game.
• Pregame playlist: A few songs from my iPod to set the tone…
–”Radioactive,” Imagine Dragons
–”The House That Heaven Built,” Japandroids
–”Rock What You Got,” Superchick
–”Stockholm Syndrome,” Muse
–”Embracing Facts,” Into It. Over It.