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Friday Nashville Regional Game Thread: Atlanta vs. The Larry Birds

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12pm CT on ESPN3/WatchESPN.

Syndication: Nashville
Listen... it’s not my fault this is one of the only pics of Indiana State baseball.
George Walker IV / Tennessean.com

Game One: Friday June 4th 12pm CT on ESPN3/WatchESPN

#2 Atlanta (29-23; 21-15 in the ACC)

vs.

#3 The Indiana State Fightin’ Larry Bird’s Ridiculous Moustaches (30-19, 14-10 in the Missourah Valley Conference)

On the Mound

Larry Birds #30 RS Sr. LHP Geremy “Double G” Guererro (10-1, 1.93 ERA)

vs. Atlanta #21 Jr. LHP Brant “Please Hammer Don’t” Hurter (5-4, 3.74 ERA)

*Note: Lineups and pitching matchups have yet to be released. This is an educated guess based on each team’s respective Ace. Will update when lineups are released (unless I’m not able to get away from work, which is likely today).

Snap Analysis and Predictions:

Atlanta has the clear offensive advantage in this one, but it might not matter, as Double G certainly has the ability to shut down a lineup.

Offense: You all know about #42 So. 3B Justyn-Henry “Ricky-Bobby” Malloy (.290/.426/.539 with 16 2B 1 3B 10 HR 39 RBI and 4-5 stolen bases). The former Dore is leading the ramblin’ wreck in HR and RBI (though not by much). He was named 3rd Team All-ACC third baseman this year. Beyond that, the Ramblin’ Wreck slashed (.283/.375/.459) to the Larry Birds’ (.280/.381/.435). Those numbers are quite similar. Really, Atlanta just has a slight power advantage: 119 2B, 12 3B, 61 HR to 83 2B, 8 3B, 54 HR. When you factor in the superior competition Atlanta faced, that slight margin grows wider.

Advantage: Atlanta.

Pitching: If Double G pitches like he has all year, The Larry Birds have the clear advantage. They have a true Ace; Atlanta doesn’t. It’s really that simple. If Atlanta is able to get to Double G early, and the game goes to the pen... well... The Larry Birds still have it, as they have a relatively reliable closer in #33 RS So. Connor “Hooked on a” Fenlong (4-2, 2.91 ERA, 6 saves). Though you have to account for Atlanta pitchers facing much better lineups, ISU’s team ERA is over a run better on the season (4.63 to 5.80 respectively). That’s not nothing.

Advantage: Larry Birds.

Anchor of Gold Twitter Poll Prediction:

Game One Prediction: Based on the strength of ISU’s game one starter, I’ve got to disagree with the majority of voters on the bird app. Though you guys clearly want to party with Big Boi and Andre 3000, I’m casting my vote for The Larry Birds in this afternoon’s game (note: this will be vote #69—nice).

See you in the comments.