March 10, 2017 9:40:21 PM
- Andy Cannizaro said it himself: "The story of the game was Konnor Pilkington." Pilkington registered a career-high 13 strikeouts in his 7 2/3 innings pitched, allowing just four hits and two walks.
"I think I was mixing up real good, putting the fastball on both sides of the plate, two-seam down and in to lefties and four seam away on lefties," Pilkington said. "Moving the fastball back and forth and sneaking a curveball in there when I needed to."
Cannizaro said of Pilkington, "I'm so fired up and so glad that guy is on our team. He's our Friday night guy, he's going to be our Friday night guy for the rest of this year, the rest of next year, he's going to be a gigantic pick in the Major League draft two years from now."
Pilkington's effort was also crucial for MSU as it attempts to navigate the three games to be played over the next two days: Trysten Barlow threw just four pitches out of the bullpen and Spencer Price collected his third save of the season in just eight pitches, so it's possible both could pitch again before the weekend is over.
- Speaking of Barlow, Cannizaro said after the game that Barlow has made himself the lefty-on-lefty specialist. Barlow has struck out the last three batters he's faced, after tonight's strikeout, and five of his six appearances this season have lasted less than an inning.
- MSU used small ball to generate its runs tonight. Four batters into the game, MSU had a run on the board: Jake Mangum bunted the first pitch of the game for a single, Luke Alexander walked, Ryan Gridley bunted them over in a sacrifice and Brent Rooker's groundout scored Mangum. A sacrifice bunt was also involved in MSU's run in the sixth inning.
- Cannizaro did not announce tomorrow's starter for the 1 p.m. game against Columbia. He said the staff is meeting on that subject after the game. Peyton Plumlee has already been announced as the starter for the second game of the day against South Alabama; Sunday's game against Columbia is also awaiting a starting pitcher decision.