STARKVILLE • The injury bug has bitten two of Mississippi State’s top players.
Sophomore pitcher JT Ginn will miss the remainder of the 2020 after undergoing elbow surgery, while junior outfielder Tanner Allen is out an undisclosed amount of time after breaking a bone in his left hand.
“It’s very crushing,” said MSU coach Chris Lemonis. “These guys have worked really hard and put so much time and effort into it. You hate to have any time out. T.A. could be back but JT will be out for the season.
“You hate it for those guys and their families as they’re going through some of these things.”
Ginn, a former first-round draft pick out of high school, was expected to be the Bulldogs’ ace this season. The right-hander started the season opener, lasting three innings and throwing 58 pitches.
Ginn had surgery on Wednesday and is a draft-eligible sophomore. The Brandon native was the 2019 National Freshman of the Year with eight wins and striking out 105 batters in only 86 1/3 innings.
Allen had surgery on Tuesday after sustaining the injury diving for a ball in right field in the series finale against Long Beach State on Sunday. Allen had already missed three games earlier this year after fouling a ball off his left knee in his first at-bat of the season.
In the wake of Ginn’s injury, No. 18 MSU will shakeup its weekend pitching rotation when it takes on Quinnipiac for a three-game series starting Friday at 4 p.m. Christian MacLeod (3-0, 1.20 ERA) will move up a day into the Friday role while Will Bednar (0-0, 1.80) will make his first start in the Saturday slot.
“(Bednar) has power stuff and as we get into SEC play, you feel like you need some strikeout stuff,” Lemonis said.
Eric Cerantola (1-1, 1.93) will continue in his Sunday role while Carlise Koestler – who had started the past two Fridays – will pitch out of the bullpen this weekend.
Quinnipiac is coming off an NCAA Tournament appearance last season but is off to a 1-8 start this year. The Bobcats have played every game on the road.
Saturday’s game starts at 2 p.m. and Sunday’s finale is scheduled for a 1 p.m. first pitch.