Running the Baseball Numbers; Pollorena Draws Start

HOOVER, Ala. | After Mississippi State’s 4-3, 10-inning win over LSU yesterday (CLICK HERE) – which had several heroes (CLICK HERE) – there are some fun numbers to look at heading into today’s SEC Tournament semifinal matchup with Kentucky (noon, CSS).

• MSU (37-22) has won 14 of its last 19 games against SEC competition.

• The Bulldogs are 21-12 in games decided by two runs or less, including 10-9 in one-run games.

• Five of the last six wins have come against Kentucky (three) and LSU (two), a pair of highly ranked, high-RPI teams.

• MSU beat LSU three times this season (in five meetings), the first time it’s won that many against the Tigers in a single season since 1998. That year, the teams met six times, with LSU beating State in the College World Series.

• Shortstop Adam Frazier is 9 of 16 (.563) at the plate in four games this week, with a double, two RBIs and two runs scored.

• MSU is batting .240 this week and has a team ERA of 2.68.

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As for today’s game, it’s the fifth meeting between MSU and Kentucky in a week’s span. After sweeping a three-game series from the Wildcats last week, the Bulldogs fell to them on Thursday, 5-1.

On the mound today for MSU will be junior left-hander Luis Pollorena (4-0, 1.69 ERA), who pitched two innings of relief on Thursday versus Kentucky, allowing one run on two hits. He has started three games this season, posting a 0.90 ERA in 10 innings of work during those outings. Pollorena tossed 5 1/3 shutout innings against Ole Miss on April 29. Expect a group effort from the pitching staff today.

The Wildcats (43-15) will counter with ace Corey Littrell (8-1, 2.64), who suffered his only loss of the season last Saturday in Starkville. The lefty gave up seven runs (five earned) on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings.

UK is coming off a rest day, just as it was when the teams met two days ago. Will that matter?

“It can work both ways,” MSU coach John Cohen said. “If you’re playing, maybe you feel you’re in a rhythm. If you’re not playing, maybe you can get out of a rhythm. I don’t know.”