June 7, 2013

Scouting Mississippi State

If you aren't reading Streaking the Lawn, then you should be.

This week, STL put out a few really good pieces scouting our opponent in this weekend's best-of-three super regional matchup: The Mississippi State Baseball Bulldogs.

Scouting the Bulldogs' Offense:
Mississippi State's Offense

Scouting the Bulldogs' Pitching:

Q&A with a Mississippi State Blogger:
Q&A with For Whom the Cowbell Tolls

Cliff's Notes:
  • Mississippi State hitting is maybe slightly above average for the super regional level.
  • Slugger Hunter Renfroe is 100% legit -- and went 13th overall to the Padres in yesterday's first round of the MLB Draft.
  • The rest of their lineup is frankly pretty ordinary.  Renfroe is to be feared, the rest of the lineup is manageable.
  • Overall, Mississippi State pitching is very, very good.
  • Their bullpen, especially, is the bee's knees.
  • The Bulldog starters can be a bit shaky, but long reliever Ross Mitchell is a beast.
  • Closer Jonathan Holder is also a beast.

The book on beating Mississippi State is to mitigate the damage Renfroe can do by shutting down the rest of the lineup and keeping runners off the bases.  Get into their starters early and put runs on the board so their bullpen can't come in and dominate the game.  Force them to burn bullpen arms early in the weekend so that they run out of steam later in the series.

Wahooze Prediction:
We've seen teams this good a million times in the ACC this season, and we've beaten them all.  The Bulldogs are not bringing anything special to the table other than Renfroe, Mitchell, and Holder.  We have more offense, and better starting options on the mound.  We'll be productive 1-9, and force them to come back from early deficits in each of the games we play against them.  Hoos win close games on Saturday and Sunday to advance to Omaha.

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