"He did well. Jeff is going to compete and he will have many opportunities. Tennessee Tech is struggling a little bit with the bat. You have to pump strikes in on them. I think they only got a guy to second base one time, the only error we made today."
You had a big 4th inning.
"We had a couple of key hits during that inning, but we didn't swing the bat real well at the end of the game. Often times, what happens is you build a lead and they bring in a left-hander who can only throw 74 to 75 and everybody wants to crunch the ball because it may be their only time at-bat against him. You then run out of bat or dribbles some ball."
Brad Corley had a good one-inning outing.
"His arm strength is certainly closer-type arm strength. We are going to keep him in the stretch position rather than have him go from a windup because we don't have as much time with him as we do with the other pitchers. If he can throw strikes, he has a great breaking ball. He just has to get ahead of the counts, so that he can use the breaking ball."
You now have had a chance to look at even more of your pitchers this weekend.
"The good thing is we have 12 pitchers and I have another pitcher, Andy Wilson, that I still haven't made a decision as to whether to redshirt him. All 12 have gotten at least two innings in. Some of them are going to have to pitch this week. If we can keep 9, 10, 11, 12 guys going we will be fine. Alan Johnson should be able to go against Southern Cal this weekend, but he's had a little shoulder tightness but, right now, the rehab is going good. In the MRI, there was nothing wrong with his arm, so he should be ready to go. We feel like pitching is going to be somewhat of a strong point for us."
What pitchers will you throw this Tuesday and Wednesday?
"I am going with Eric Ebers and Brooks Dunn Tuesday and Wednesday. I'm sure Jamie Gant will throw in the Friday spot and Jeff Lacher in the Saturday spot and maybe Alan Johnson Sunday."
Do you know what pitchers you will use in the late innings, close game type settings?
"We have Saunders Ramsey and Brad Corley and others that we can use. Eric Ebers is a very crafty left-hander. But I like to feel Corley will be our closer."
What is the situation with Jon Mungle?
"It is not good right now. Dr. Linton looked at him and it looks like it might be a tear (in his knee), but they are going to do an MRI. It is bad for Jon and bad for us too, but it is one of those things that happens."
How would you grade your team's performance this season, so far?
"I have to give us an A right now because we are 7-0, but the teacher that gave us that A might not be as tough as the next teacher. While we have an A right now, we have a bucket full of challenges coming up in a very short period of time."
You played a lot of position guys and they kept the hitting up.
"Yeah, I think we will swing the bat well. I think our lineup, one through nine, is not an easy lineup to pitch to. We've had a couple of teams lately that I didn't feel comfortable with one or two spots, but we have about 12 or 13 guys who can play and be very competitive."
Do you know if Bunky Kateon is going to be able to play this coming weekend?
"Not really. He could hit. I'm really in a dilemma right now. (Freshman infielder) Michael Rutledge also has a little tendon problem in his wrist and I could still redshirt him. But, both of those kids are our future. I want to make sure we make a good decision this year with both of those boys. Bunky is healthy and his arm has recovered somewhat, but he is still on a rehab program with his arm strength. Everyday it will get better. But one of those guys may end up being redshirted. That decision will be made in the next week or two."
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.