Weather - Monday - The temperatures should be in the low 80s to high 70s during the game. There is a 30% chance for isolated thunderstorms. The wind will be from the SSE at 17 mph. | Tuesday - The temperatures should be in the low 80s to high 70s during the game. There is a 10% chance for isolated thunderstorms. The wind will be from the SW at 11 mph. | Wednesday - The temperatures should be in the low 80s to high 70s during the game. There is a 0% chance for isolated thunderstorms. The wind will be from the NNW at 7 mph.
Gametimes (CT) - Monday: 7:00 pm (ESPN-TV) | Tuesday: 7:00 pm (ESPN-TV) | Wednesday: 7:00 pm (ESPN-TV)
Coaches - John Savage is coaching his 9th season at UCLA. Counting this season, he has an overall record of 322-224 and 136-100 in conference play. 7 of his 9 teams have advanced to post-season regionals with 4 appearing in Super Regionals and 3 of those teams advancing to the College World Series. As of today, his teams have an overall NCAA post-season record of 30-14.
John Cohen, who is in his fifth season as the head coach at Mississippi State, has an overall current record of 177-129, including a combined 129-67 in 2011, 2012 and 2013, and a 61-88 record in SEC play (46-44 SEC W-L record in 2011-2013). His 2011, 2012 and 2013 teams appeared in regionals with his 2011 team advancing to a Super Regional and his 2013 currently playing in the College World Series National Championship Finals As of today, his teams overall NCAA post-season record currently stands at 13-5.
Expected Pitching Rotations - UCLA is expected to start junior RHP Adam Plutko (9-3, 2.29 ERA) Monday, junior RHP Nick Vander Tuig (13-4, 2.31) Tuesday and sophomore LHP Grant Watson (9-3, 3.01) Wednesday.
The stats that I will use below will be how each pitcher has thrown in NCAA post-season activity.
Plutko has thrown in three post-season games and has gone 7 innings in each. In 21 innings, he has allowed 4 runs (2 earned) on 16 hits and 4 walks while striking out 8. His ERA is 0.86. He has pitched against San Diego State, Cal-State Fullerton and LSU. In his last outing, which was against LSU, he allowed 1 run on 4 hits and 2 walks while striking out 2.
Vander Tuig has also thrown in 3 games. He's gone at least 6 innings in each. In 19.1 innings, he has allowed 5 runs (all earned) on 21 hits and 3 walks while striking out 13. His ERA is 2.33. He has faced Cal Poly, Cal-State Fullerton and North Carolina State. In his last outing - which was against North Carolina State - he allowed 1 run on 4 hits and 0 walks while striking out 6 in 7 innings.
Watson has pitched in two post-season games, against San Diego and North Carolina. In 13 innings, he has allowed 0 runs on 5 hits while walking 2 and striking out 8. He faced North Carolina in his last appearance and allowed 0 runs on 4 hits and 1 walk while striking out 3 in 6 innings.
Mississippi State will throw sophomore RHP Trevor Fitts (0-0, 2.86 ERA) Monday, probably junior RHP Ben Bracewell (1-1, 1.48) Tuesday and very likely senior RHP Kendall Graveman (8-5, 3.09) Wednesday.
Fitts has appeared in three post-season games and has thrown 7.1 innings, allowing 5 runs (3 earned) on 5 hits and 3 walks while striking out 5. His ERA is 3.68. He started against Central Arkansas, Virginia and Indiana. He will normally throw 2+ innings in his starts.
Bracewell has started 1 game in post-season, allowing 0 runs on 1 hit and 2 walks while striking out 5 in 2.1 innings. His one start was against Central Arkansas.
Graveman has started 4 games in post-season play. He has thrown 22 innings, allowing 13 runs (8 earned) on 23 hits and 6 walks while striking out 12. His ERA is 3.27. He has thrown against Central Arkansas, Virginia, and Oregon State twice. He'll normally throw between 5+ and 6+ innings. In his last start he threw against Oregon State and allowed 1 run on 4 hits and 1 walk while striking out 2 in 5.2 innings.
Relief Pitching - UCLA will primarily use three relievers; sophomore RHP David Berg (7-0, 23 Saves, 0.96 ERA), freshman RHP James Kaprielian (0-0, 2 S, 1.59), and junior RHP Zack Weiss (2-1, 0 S, 2.27).
Berg is one of the premier closers in all of college baseball. In post-season play he has appeared in all 8 of UCLA's games. He has thrown 11.1 innings, allowing 3 runs (all earned) on 10 hits and 4 walks while striking out 13. His post-season ERA is 2.38. He's normally going to throw an inning but he has thrown 2 and 3 innings once during post-season play.
Kaprielian is used as a setup man for Berg. In post-season play he has thrown 4.2 innings in 5 games. He has allowed 1 run (earned) on 0 hits and 2 walks while striking out 7.
Weiss is UCLA's other setup man. He has thrown in 4 games, allowing 0 runs on 4 hits and 1 walk while striking out 2 in 3.2 innings.
Mississippi State will likely use four pitchers in relief; sophomore RHP Jonathan Holder (2-0, 21 Saves, 1.24 ERA), sophomore LHP Ross Mitchell (13-0, 2 S, 1.27), senior LHP Chad Girodo (9-1, 0 S, 1.56) and possibly sophomore RHP Will Cox (3-1, 0 S, 2.51).
Holder, like UCLA's Berg, is one of the premier closers in college baseball. In 5 post-season games he has thrown 5.2 innings, allowing 3 runs (2 earned) on 3 hits and 5 walks while striking out 7. His ERA is 3.35.
Mitchell, who is one of two long relievers in the MSU bullpen, has appeared in 4 games, allowing 0 runs on 13 hits and 5 walks while striking out 6 in 14.1 innings. He'll throw anywhere from 2+ to 5+ innings.
Girodo is the other long reliever in MSU's bullpen. In 4 post-season games he has thrown 19.1 innings, allowing 5 runs (all earned) on 18 hits and 5 walks while striking out 34. His ERA is 2.33. He'll normally throw between 4+ and 6+ innings in an outing.
Cox has appeared in 1 post-season game, allowing 0 runs on 0 hits and 0 walks while striking out 2 in 2 innings.
Who's Hot at the Plate and Who's Not in Post-Season Play
|301 (4.7 pg)||Runs||413 (6.0 pg)|
|276 (4.3 pg)||Walks||284 (4.1 pg)|
|419 (6.5 pg)||Strikeouts||424 (6.1 pg)|
|531 (8.3 pg)||LOB||606 (8.8 pg)|
|160 (2.5 pg)||Walks||230 (3.3 pg)|
|448 (7.0 pg)||Strikeouts||571 (8.3 pg)|
|.223||Batting Average Against||.226|
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.