GOR­DON

Starkville Daily News - - NA­TIONAL COL­LEGE BASE­BALL -

Sun­day, Gor­don threw a com­bined 13 in­nings giv­ing up 10 hits, four runs and he struck out 20 bat­ters.

Both ap­pear­ances against the Com­modores were crit­i­cal. Gor­don en­tered the game in trou­ble both times and threw 3.1 in­nings on Fri­day with three strike­outs and 3.2 in­nings on Sun­day with seven. He didn't give up a run in ei­ther of the con­tests and al­lowed just three hits to­tal.

“Cole Gor­don was the MVP of the re­gional," MSU

out­fielder Jake Mangum said. "What he did was he got us to Omaha. Cole Gor­don al­lowed us to be in this sit­u­a­tion. He took the ball in game one and game three with con­fi­dence and he did ev­ery­thing he had to do for us to win the se­ries.”

All of that is a lit­tle sur­real to Gor­don, who doesn't plan on tak­ing that credit, ei­ther. State in­terim coach Gary Hen­der­son will oblige. He's been one of Gor­don's big­gest fans the last two sea­sons and has con­tin­ued to trust in him to get outs.

He put Gor­don in on Sun­day of the Florida se­ries, be­fore go­ing to Zach Neff or Ri­ley Self, and he de­liv­ered two shut­down in­nings. He went back to him after he gave up three runs with­out record­ing an out against Ok­la­homa and Gor­don pitched six in­nings against the Soon­ers to al­low State to save the bullpen.

“There's a lot of times that I wasn't throw­ing it well and I was get­ting hit," Gor­don said. "The fact that he stayed with me and in­stilled con­fi­dence in me, it means ev­ery­thing. It means I get to keep pitch­ing and keep play­ing. What he's done for me and for this pitch­ing staff, it's amaz­ing.”

What's work­ing best for the big right-han­der right now? He likes the break he's get­ting on his curve­ball and cut fast­ball and it's get­ting past hit­ter for swings and misses as ev­i­dence in the seven strike­outs he recorded Sun­day.

As he's de­vel­oped as a pitcher, it's also al­lowed him to think about his fu­ture. Gor­don took part in se­nior day fes­tiv­i­ties as a ju­nior dur­ing the last week­end of the sea­son. He said this week that he's thought about re­turn­ing to the team but he's still con­sid­er­ing his op­tions on his life mov­ing for­ward.

For now, he's go­ing to fo­cus on con­tin­u­ing to play with the team that he loves.

“I love be­ing on this team," Gor­don said. "There are a lot of younger guys and a lot of older guys. It's a dy­namic that's cool to see and it's fun to see this team de­velop. We had a lot of peo­ple count us out, but what we've been able to do is ex­cit­ing.

“We can't re­ally bring our emo­tions into words. All I can say is that we've been to­gether through ev­ery­thing and this pro­gram is so much big­ger than a sin­gle per­son or a sin­gle coach. What­ever hap­pens, we have 30 guys in there ready to lay it on the line ev­ery day.

“The last two years we've been to su­per re­gion­als and it hurts to come up short. Know­ing that feel­ing, be­ing able to push through and have a chance to win it all, it re­ally is a bless­ing.”

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