Freshman pitcher Josh Johnson (Winner (1-0), 6 IP, 4 H, 4 SO, 0 BB, 0 ER, 1 R)
You had another good outing.
"I came out and wasn't near as nervous as I was the last time. I had a shaky start at the beginning and didn't have my breaking stuff and my off-speed stuff. Once I settled down, I was alright. Toward the end of the game I kind of got tired and lost a little velocity on the ball and they started hitting it. Overall, I thought that I did a pretty good job."
How hard do you think you were throwing your fastball today?
"I think I'm throwing pretty well. Sometimes it's hard to tell because you may think you are throwing hard and you are throwing 92-92 and sometimes you may be throwing 87-88. But I feel like I was keeping it consistently at 88 to 92."
Do you feel you throw the ball harder as the weather gets warmer?
"Yes sir, as it gets warmer, my arm gets warm and stays warm and it keeps getting better and better as it gets hotter."
Talk about the difference in your roles your first two outings. One was in relief and today was as a starter.
"There is a lot more pressure on you when the game is zero and zero (like today's game). When I came into the game against Illinois, we were up 9-2, so there wasn't much pressure even though I felt a little pressure because it was my first appearance."
Since you've had two outings, have the coaches given any indication where you will be pitching this year?
"He's still working on that. We have a lot of guys who came out of junior college and other places that he wants to pitch. He said he is going to let it go two or three weeks and put us in there when he can and let us throw a few innings."
Are you completely comfortable on the mound now that you have pitched a couple of times?
"Yes sir, after starting the game I was comfortable. I have gone off and pitched in American Legion and have pitched in front of some pretty good crowds."
In the first inning, you got the first guy out, then the next guy hits a bomb that is five feet from going out.
"You can tell who are the good hitters. I just knew the next time he came up, I knew that I had to battle him a little tougher. (Mississippi Valley) is not a pushover. They won the SWAC last year."
Redshirt freshman DH Brian LaNinfa (1-for-3, 1 home run, 2 RBI)
Has it surprised you that you have hit 4 home runs in five games?
"It has surprised me. All I'm trying to do is hit the ball. I have the same approach each at bat, especially against a left-hander I want to stay on the ball and drive it the other way."
The wind blowing out to left field has really helped out the first few games.
"It is helping me. I've seen it blowing out every game we have played in and I'm just trying to work that way."
It took you guys a second time around before you got to their starting pitcher.
"He is a decent pitcher. He has good velocity and he can throw a little bit. It took us a couple of at bats to come around, but as soon as we got our second time through, we started hitting him well."
Gene Swindoll is the owner of Gene's Page, the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports on the internet. The URL for Gene's Page is http://mississippistate.theinsiders.com. You can contact him by emailing email@example.com.