May 12, 2019 12:05:13 AM
OXFORD -- Freshman pitcher JT Ginn has been Mississippi State's Mr. Reliable in 2019.
Holding down the No. 2 starter spot, Ginn was 8-3 with a 3.08 ERA in 12 starts this season entering the weekend. Yet Saturday's first inning looked like the freshman had finally hiccupped.
Ginn allowed two runs on 31 pitches in the frame. Missing high, low, inside and out, he couldn't find the zone, throwing just 11 of his first 28 pitches for strikes.
When he did get balls over the plate, Ole Miss hammered him -- notching three hits in the inning.
After getting bailed out by a runner interference call to close the first inning, Ginn coasted through the second. He set down the Rebels in order with two strikeouts. Things started to roll from there.
The thunderous "clunk" midway through the third inning was clearly audible.
After Ole Miss first baseman Kevin Graham roped a ball off Ginn's foot, Ginn snagged the ball off the turf and fired it toward first for the second out of the fourth inning.
The MSU athletic training staff quickly jogged out to the mound to check on Ginn.
He shook them off almost immediately. He was fine. No trainer needed.
On the ensuing at bat, Ginn gifted Ole Miss' Jacob Adams first base with a wild pitch on strike three. Another wild pitch then moved him to second and a throwing error sent Adams to third. Tied 2-2, the go-ahead run was just 90-feet from the plate.
Ginn next battled through a seven-pitch at-bat with Ole Miss centerfielder Josh Hall.
Garnering a swinging strikeout with a ball in the dirt, Ginn stared down the Ole Miss dugout as he walked toward his own.
There was visible disappointment as Ginn walked off the field in favor of junior reliever Trysten Barlow in the fifth.
He finished his outing after 4.2 innings, giving up three runs while striking out five. It was the first time he had failed to reach the fifth inning since April 15 against Alabama -- his first game back from injury.
It's become commonplace for Ginn to flash ability beyond his years. Ten of his 13 starts have lasted five innings or longer. Six of those have been six innings or more.
Ben Portnoy reports on Mississippi State sports for The Dispatch.
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