Mississippi State Rolls To Super Regionals

ATLANTA (AP) -- Mississippi State coach John Cohen isn't always
sure what kind of performance he will get from starting pitcher
Nick Routt.

Routt was still recovering from an arm injury when the season
started, but he looked just fine Sunday night.

"He's tough to read," Cohen said. "You just don't know. He
could feel great or he could just feel lousy, but when the ball
comes out of his hand like it did tonight, it becomes obvious he's
healthy and he's feeling it."

C.T. Bradford drove in four runs and Routt pitched a six-hitter
to help Mississippi State win the Atlanta Regional and eliminate
Georgia Tech 7-3.

The Bulldogs (37-23) will visit Florida in a super regional
matchup next week.

Georgia Tech (42-21) committed five errors and lost the Atlanta
Regional at home for the third straight year. The Yellow Jackets
allowed just one earned run.

"That is really what did us in," Georgia Tech coach Danny Hall
said. "Our miscues in the field gave them extra scoring
opportunities and extra outs, and they capitalized on them."

Routt (3-2) allowed three runs -- two earned -- with one walk and
six strikeouts. The complete game was the fifth of Routt's career,
and first since 2009, as he helped the Bulldogs reach the super
regionals for the first time since '07.

"They swung early in the count trying to hit the home run,"
Routt said. "Against right-handers, the changeup was very
effective. I know I got some early first-pitch swings on it."

One of them resulted in a double play in the fourth. One batter
later, Daniel Palka's RBI single cut the lead to 6-1, but the
inning could've been worse.

"He was mainly throwing his fastball, and we just could not hit
it," said Zane Evans, whose home run in the fifth made it 6-2.
"He was spotting it pretty well, and I guess we were all looking
for something different. He just kept throwing the fastball by us.
Nothing crazy, just a flat fastball. We were not ready for it."

DeAndre Smelter (2-1) allowed six hits, six runs -- one earned --
and walked two in 2 1-3 innings. Making his first career start, the
freshman had no strikeouts.

Mississippi State's Nick Vickerson walked off the field under
his own power in the fourth after getting hit in the back of his
helmet by a Luke Bard pitch.

Cohen said Vickerson was in good shape to travel home and would
undergo concussion tests in Starkville, Miss.

For Georgia Tech, losing another Atlanta Regional at home was
tough to take.

"I don't care where your season ends," Hall said. "When it
ends, you're disappointed, and it takes a long time to get over it.
I probably won't be over it until we start practice in the fall,
being quite honest about it. It hurts."

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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