On the Links: Pollorena Gets Ball; Reports from Destin

Prior to his first start, sophomore left-hander Luis Pollorena was 5-3 with a 1.65 ERA, 24 strikeouts and 10 walks. Three starts and one forgettable relief appearance later, he is 6-5 with a 4.44 ERA, 31 strikeouts and 17 walks.

So, which Pollorena will show up Friday against Southern Miss? As I write in today’s Journal, MSU’s coaches are banking on the former.

“He’s got to go back to being who he is with all that energy, and everybody can play and rally around that,” pitching coach Butch Thompson said. “I’d be super-shocked, super-disappointed if he didn’t come out and do that for this team.”

Pollorena’s last start was against LSU, and he gave up seven runs (all earned) on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings. Then came the Florida game in the SEC Tournament, when he gave up that critical grand slam and took the loss.

So it’s not like MSU is riding a hot guy into the NCAA Regionals. But when you look at the staff, who is hot? Easy: Evan Mitchell. He struck out 11 at Memphis, then started that game against Florida and worked five-plus strong innings. But he is a freshman, and it appears MSU would like to get its rotation back the way it was, as much as possible. Mitchell could very well start the second game this weekend, or it could be junior Nick Routt.

• Down in Destin, Fla., Parrish Alford is covering all the bases. If you missed it late last night, here are some of his observations of Day 1 of the SEC meetings.

In today’s print edition, Parrish has two stories: A lengthy article on oversigning, and a notebook that includes talk of eliminating the divisional format in basketball.

Be sure y’all give Parrish a follow on Twitter for more updates today.

• Back to baseball: The Hattiesburg American has some updates on USM. With first baseman Adam Doleac injured, left-side infielder B.A. Vollmuth has been taking reps at the position. Doleac could still play as a designated hitter.

Also, a story on the Golden Eagles’ proficiency at turning the doube play.

Both stories are written by Patrick Magee, who y’all should follow this week.

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