ATLANTA The 2011 NCAA Baseball Tournament field has been set and the Atlanta Regionalfeatures Georgia Tech, Southern Mississippi, Mississippi State and Austin Peay.Play begins Friday at 3 p.m. when Southern Miss (39-17) takes on MississippiState (34-23) at Russ Chandler Stadium. The game will be broadcast on CSS.SouthernMiss is the No. 2 seed in Atlanta and finished the season tied for first placein Conference USA. The Golden Eagles lost the conference tournamentchampionship to East Carolina and accepted an at-large bid into the NCAATournament field.MississippiState enters the Atlanta Regional as the No. 3 seed after finishing in a tiefor second place in the SECs Western Division. The Bulldogs lost their firsttwo games in Hoover, Ala. last week at the SEC Tournament and were selectedinto the NCAA Tournament with an at-large bid.TheGolden Eagles will send right-hander Todd McInnis to the mound Friday.McInnis is 8-2 with a 2.61 ERA and is coming off of a complete-game win overTulane where he gave up just four hits and one earned run. In his last fourstarts, McInnis has given up just five earned runs and spread out 24 hits.MississippiState will counter with lefty Luis Pollorena. Since the sophomore waspromoted to the rotation on May 6 hes 1-2 with a 9.50 ERA, and is coming offof a relief appearance in the SEC Tournament where he gave up three earned runsto Florida in 1 23 innings. Friday will mark just Pollorenas third start ofthe season.Thewinner of Fridays game will advance to play the winner of the GeorgiaTech-Austin Peay game on Saturday at 7 p.m. Not one player on the Mississippi State roster has everplayed in an NCAA Regional. Southern Miss starter Todd McInnis has lasted atleast six innings in 12 of his 14 starts this season. Take away those two roughstarts and McInnis has a 2.11 ERA instead of 2.61. Mississippi State starter Luis Pollorena has hadtrouble adjusting to his new role as a starter. Hes given up a home run ineach of his starts and had trouble keeping his pitches out of the heart of thestrike zone. In its only game against Southern Miss this year on April 4,Mississippi State beat the Golden Eagles 5-4. Pollorena got the win in relief. Jarrod Parks might just be the best hitterin the Atlanta Regional field. The senior third baseman has the highest battingaverage (.383) of any hitter in the Regional, and has a knack for getting onbase. Parks was second in the SEC this year with 42 walks and set a schoolrecord for being hit by 19 pitches. In 2009, Southern Miss made a run to the College WorldSeries (its only appearance) that started in Atlanta with a win over Elon andtwo wins out of three against the host, Georgia Tech.
Preview of the Atlanta Regional Gm 1: Southern Miss at MSU
June 2, 2011, 5:16 pm