Comparison: Samford And MSU

Comparing Samford and Mississippi State, both of whom play in the NCAA baseball Tallahassee Regional this weekend.


Samford Away Record/Mississippi State Away Records - Samford is 21-11 on the road while Mississippi State is 11-14 on the road.

Starting Pitching (I will use the last three outings as a stats reference point) - Samford's three main starters are senior RHP Josh Martin (12-1, 2.96 ERA), senior RHP Charles Basford (9-2, 3.95) and senior RHP Kyle Putkonen (3-5, 5.50).

Martin has been very good in his last three starts, giving up just 7 runs (5 earned) on 15 hits and 9 walks while striking out 15 in 18 innings for a 2.50 ERA. Martin's stats might be a little deceiving since his last start, which was in his conference's tournament, was with just a few days rest. If you discard it and take into account the three prior starts, when he was fully rested, his stats are very, very good - 21.0 innings, 4 runs (2 earned), 14 hits, 6 walks and 16 Ks for a 0.86 ERA.

Basford has been decent in his last three outings, giving up 14 runs (9 earned) on 22 hits and 4 walks to go along with his 7 walks in 19 innings. His three-start ERA is 4.26.

Putkonen has been very solid in his last three outings, giving up 7 runs (6 earned) on 20 hits and 4 walks while striking out 8 in 17 innings. His three-start ERA is 3.18.

Mississippi State has recently been using junior RHP Chris Stratton (11-1, 2.21 ERA), junior RHP Kendall Graveman (4-4, 2.92) and freshman RHP Brandon Woodruff (1-2, 2.38) as their three-man rotation. Sophomore RHP Evan Mitchell has (2-1, 3.52) also been used as a starter in SEC action as well.

Stratton, one of the top pitchers in the nation and recently named the SEC Pitcher of the Year by the league coaches, has performed well in his last three appearances, giving up 5 runs (4 earned) on 17 hits and 4 walks while striking out 22 in 19.1 innings. His three-start ERA is 2.33.

Graveman, who has been nursing a groin pull the past couple of weeks, has also performed well in his last three outings, giving up 4 runs (all earned) on 14 hits and 1 walk to go along with his 6 Ks in 13.2 innings. His ERA during that span is 2.63.

Woodruff, who became MSU's third starter the past two SEC weekends, has done well. In his last three outings, two against SEC teams, he has only allowed 1 run on 8 hits and 5 walks while striking out 11 in 12 inning. His three-game ERA is 0.75.

In his last two starts, Mitchell has given up 3 runs (1 earned) on 5 hits and 6 walks while striking out 5 in 5.1 innings.

Relief Pitching (Stats are from the last three or four conference series) - Samford mainly uses between 4 and 5 relievers. They are senior sophomore RHP C.K. Irby (5-1, 9 S, 1.53 ERA), RHP Tyler Vanderheiden (1-1, 1 S, 2.76), senior LHP Joseph Burns (3-1, 1 S, 1.49), senior RHP Michael Gunter (1-2, 0 S, 2.63) and junior LHP Lex Rutledge (1-4, 2 S, 7.01).

Irby has been Samford's closer this season. In his last three outings he has thrown 5.1 innings, giving up 2 runs (1 earned) on 2 hits and 1 walk while striking out 6 for a 1.69 ERA.

Vanderheiden has been used as a middle reliever and a closer at times. In his last 5 appearances he has given up 1 run on 4 hits and 2 walks while striking out 3 in 4.1 innings. His five-game ERA is 2.08.

Burns has mainly been used as a middle reliever. In his last 5 outings he has given up 6 runs (5 earned) on 4 hits and 4 walks while striking out 4 in 5 innings. His five-game ERA is 9.00.

Gunter has been mainly a middle reliever. In his last 4 outings he gave up 0 runs on 5 hits and 4 walks while striking out 10 in 6.0 innings for a 0.00 ERA.

Rutledge came into the season expecting to be Samford's closer but has been ineffective this season. In his last three outings, including one a start, he has given up 8 runs (5 earned) on 7 hits and 3 walks to go along with his 6 Ks in 4 innings. His three-game ERA is 11.25.

Mississippi State will primarily use 7 pitchers in relief - redshirt freshman LHP Ross Mitchell (2-0, 0 S, 1.02 ERA), senior RHP Caleb Reed (1-5, 8 S, 2.56), freshman RHP Jonathan Holder (2-0, 9 S, 0.00), freshman LHP Jacob Lindgren (2-2, 1 S, 3.33), junior LHP Luis Pollorena (4-0, 0 S, 1.85), redshirt junior LHP Nick Routt (3-5, 0 S, 3.83), and redshirt sophomore Ben Bracewell (0-0, 0 S, 0.96).

In his last 7 outings, Mitchell has thrown 16.1 innings, giving up 0 runs on 9 hits and 3 walks while striking out 9. His ERA is 0.00. He is mainly used in middle relief.

Reed has thrown in 7 games in the last three conference series (including the SEC Tournament). In those 7 games he has given up 1 run on 7 hits and 2 walks while striking out 4 in 9.1 innings. His ERA is 0.96. He is mainly used as a setup main for closer Holder.

Holder has become MSU's closer during the last half of SEC play. In the last three SEC series he has thrown in 8 games, allowing 0 runs on 0 hits and 1 walk while striking out 9 in 7.2 innings. His ERA is obviously 0.00.

Lindgren has been used in middle relief and has also started one game during the last three SEC series. During his 4 outings, he has given up 5 runs (all earned) on 10 hits and 2 walks to go along with his 11 Ks in 11.0 innings.

Pollorena has been used as a spot starter and middle relief during the last three SEC series. In those three games he has given up 2 runs (both earned) on 5 hits and 1 walk while striking out 5 in 6.0 innings.

Routt has thrown in 4 games in the last three SEC series, giving up 1 run on 7 hits and 1 walk while striking out 5 in 5.1 innings. He's used mostly in middle relief.

Bracewell has been battling an injury for much of the SEC season but has started throwing in SEC games again recently. In his last three outings (2 in SEC play) he has given up 1 run on 4 hits and 3 walks while striking out 7 in 6.2 innings. He's mainly used in middle relief.

Who's Hot at the Plate and Who's Not in the Last 5 Games - For Samford redshirt junior Austin Allison is leading the way with a .529 average (9-of-17, 6 RBI). Following him is junior Zeth Stone who comes in hitting .429 (9-of-21, 7 RBI), junior Tommy Corbin who is hitting .412 (7-of-17, 0 RBI), senior Brandon Miller who is batting .389 (7-of-18, 5 RBI), sophomore Phillip Ervin who comes in hitting .381 (8-of-21, 7 RBI) and senior Saxon Butler who is hitting .381 (8-of-21, 6 RBI). Sophomore C.K. Irby is hitting .286 (6-of-21, 0 RBI), while redshirt junior Christiaan Durdaller is hitting .263 (5-of-19, 4 RBI) and senior Brad Moss comes in hitting .167 (3-of-18, 3 RBI).

Mississippi State (I'm using their 6 games in the SEC Tournament) is led at the plate by sophomore Adam Frazier who is hitting .522 (12-of-23, 3 RBI), followed by sophomore Daryl Norris who comes in at .308 (4-of-13, 0 RBI). Coming in third is redshirt freshman Wes Rea who is hitting .250 (4-of-16, 4 RBI). Sophomore Hunter Renfroe is hitting .238 (5-of-21, 1 RBI), senior Brent Brownlee is hitting .231 (3-of-13, 2 RBI), junior Mitch Slauter is hitting .227 (5-of-22, 0 RBI), redshirt freshman Demarcus Henderson is hitting .217 (5-of-23, 1 RBI), junior Sam Frost is hitting .190 (4-of-21, 2 RBI), junior Trey Porter comes in hitting .100 (2-of-20, 2 RBI) while in part-time duty Matthew Britton is hitting .250 (2-of-8, 1 RBI).

How Samford and MSU Match Up
Samford Category Mississippi State
39-21 Record 39-22
.307 Batting Average .252
425 (7.1 pg) Runs 277 (4.5 pg)
62 Home Runs 21
.393 OB % .359
48-72 Stolen Bases-Attempts 42-69
242 (4.0 pg) Walks 248 (4.1 pg)
358 (6.0 pg) Strikeouts 420 (6.9 pg)
3.77 Team ERA 2.58
16 Saves 20
207 (3.5 pg) Walks 170 (2.8 pg)
465 (7.8 pg) Strikeouts 516 (8.5 pg)
.250 Batting Average Against .239
.960 Fielding % .970

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on the Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.


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