Mississippi State's Konnor Pilkington (Aaron Fitt)


SEC Tourney: Day Two Wrap


HOOVER, Ala. — One of the key components to postseason success is having your starting rotation, and particularly your ace, clicking on all cylinders. At least when it comes to the latter, Bulldogs head coach Andy Cannizaro liked what he saw from sophomore lefthander Konnor Pilkington in a 3-0 win over Georgia.

The last time we saw Pilkington was a few weeks ago at Texas A&M. In that outing, he had normal velocity with a fastball in the low-90s, but command of the breaking ball wasn’t there and that allowed the Aggies to sit on his fastball, resulting in seven runs allowed in just 3.1 innings. Since that point and before Wednesday, he’d allowed two runs in 14 innings against Georgia and LSU, respectively. In other words, that start, which came on short rest, was merely an aberration.

Pilkington was all business in the win over Georgia, striking out six, showing good command of his breaking ball with just two walks, while allowing just five hits in eight shutout innings. His start put the Bulldogs in the double-elimination format of the tournament, but even more important, it gives this team a jolt of confidence with postseason play coming up next weekend.

“When he needed it, he was able to throw the slider for strikes. And that’s important because he’s primarily a fastball guy,” Georgia head coach Scott Stricklin said. “He was able to throw that fastball outside, and he was able to come back in with it, too. He’ll do a good job of keeping you off balance. We had an opportunity to get him a little agitated and uncomfortable in the second inning, but he pitched out of trouble.”

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