Freshman Mitchell to Start Saturday’s Game

ATLANTA | For the second consecutive week, John Cohen is counting on freshman Evan Mitchell to get the job done in a big spot.

Mitchell (5-1, 3.49 ERA) will start tomorrow’s game at the NCAA Regional against No. 4 seed Austin Peay, Cohen said. Last Wednesday in the SEC Tournament, he started against Florida and tossed five innings of two-run, five-hit ball in a 7-5 loss.

“We feel like he’s pitching well. He’s had a lot of success against left-handed hitters,” Cohen said. Butch (Thompson) and I got together, and we just felt like he’s our best guy right now to pitch in the two hole.”

Mitchell, who hails from nearby Marietta, is looking forward to pitching in front of about 20 friends and family. He was sitting at his house watching the Georgia Tech-Austin Peay game when we spoke earlier. (Austin Peay pulled a 2-1 upset.)

“I’m not really getting caught up in being at home. I’m just going to try and do the same thing I’ve been doing, and hopefully it works out well,” Mitchell said.

• I asked Cohen about the availability of closer Caleb Reed for tomorrow. Reed threw three innings of three-hit ball today against Southern Miss to earn his 12th save.

“We’ll have to wait and see tomorrow how he’s doing. Certainly Taylor Stark is a guy who’s a factor in the pen, among others.”