STARKVILLE — The feeling happened again to Mississippi State University starting pitcher Ben Bracewell.
Bracewell, the Bulldogs’ opening night starting pitcher this season, had to be removed from the team’s 5-4 victory against the University of Connecticut on Friday due to soreness his right pitching elbow, according to MSU baseball coach John Cohen.
Cohen confirmed after the win that Bracewell (0-0, 0.00) was in enough pain to be relieved after just three innings (42 pitches) in his third start of the season.
“He had some soreness in his elbow, and when you have (junior right-hander) Chris Stratton waiting to come into the game, it’s not a tough decision,” Cohen said.
Bracewell has yet to throw more than 60 pitches in a game this season. He has allowed six hits and two unearned runs in 10 1/3 innings.
“Benny is still nursing a couple of things, and we’re waiting to try and get him to that 80-90 pitch mark,” Cohen said. “Hopefully a little bit later on, we can do that.”
The soreness in Bracewell’s pitching elbow is most likely related to his first injury since arriving on the MSU campus three years ago. The 6-foot, 200-pound right-hander had surgery last year to correct a labrum injury in his pitching shoulder. The rehabilitation from the procedure left him off last year’s active roster.
The injury from two years ago involved damage to the front part near the biceps tendon, but unlike most cases in this injury, MSU officials said the right shoulder remained strong physically.
Bracewell had surgery performed by Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., the summer prior to last season to correct the labrum injury.
“I’m still sore after starts because I’ve never thrown this many pitches since high school and I try to beat my record every week, and this coming week will be no different,” Bracewell said Feb. 10. “When I’m on the mound, it’s not an issue.”
Cohen and the MSU coaching staff didn’t know the severity of Bracewell’s injury Friday night, but the redshirt sophomore will be evaluated by the team training staff and doctors this weekend if the soreness persists through the weekend.
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