by Knox Bardeenknoxbardeen@csssports.com
ATLANTA Mississippi State scored six runs in the first three innings and got a complete-game, six hitter from starter Nick Routt Sunday to beat the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, 7-3, and win the NCAA Atlanta Regional at Russ Chandler Stadium.
Mississippi State head coach John Cohen said Saturday that his team was 26-1 when they scored six runs or more. He said the keys to victory for his team were scoring first and scoring at least six runs. The Bulldogs did both Sunday to advance to the Super Regionals.
"This game really unfolded exactly the way that we wanted it to and we are fortunate that it did," said Cohen. "We needed Nick (Routt) to attack the strike zone with a fastball and he did. We needed to get a lot of early count outs, we did. We played very good defense, got timely hitting, bunted and moved some guys over, everything that we wanted to do went the way that we wanted it to.
A team as good as Georgia Tech most of the time wont allow you to do the things that you want to do. I think Nick (Routt) just forced them to swing the bat and I am just thrilled that the game plan went as planned.
Routt gave up two earned runs and six hits to notch the victory, throwing 114 pitches. It was Mississippi States first complete game of the season.
I was just throwing in the strike zone," said Routt. "They swung early in the count trying to hit the home run. Thankfully I had a good defense behind me and the ball bounced our way. Against the right-handers, my changeup was very effective. I know that I got some early first pitch swings on it. That double play that we turned in the fifth was on a change up so it was working well. I felt good and everything was fine tonight.
Three Bulldogs got multiple hits Sunday, including freshman center fielder C.T. Bradford who went 3-for-5 with four runs batted in. Bradford was named the Atlanta Regional Most Outstanding Player after the game Sunday. Bradford was 7-for-13 with five RBI in Mississippi States three games at the Atlanta Regional.
A total of seven Mississippi State players made the NCAA Atlanta Regional All-Tournament Team.
Mississippi State will travel to Gainesville, Fla. to play the Florida Gators in a best-of-three Super Regional series. Dates and times will not be announced until all the NCAA Regional games have been completed Monday.
The winner of next weeks Super Regional will advance to the College World Series.
NCAA ATLANTA ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
DH - Daniel Palka, Georgia Tech
C - Zane Evans, Georgia Tech
1B - Cody Freeman, Mississippi State
2B - Nick Vickerson, Mississippi State
SS - Reed Harper, Austin Peay
3B - Matt Skole, Georgia Tech
OF - C.T. Bradford, Mississippi State
OF - Brent Brownlee, Mississippi State
OF - Jaron Shepherd, Mississippi State
P - Nick Routt, Mississippi State
P - Evan Mitchell, Mississippi State
P - Todd McInnis, Southern Miss
Most Outstanding Player: C.T. Bradford, Mississippi State