When looking for the best true freshman pitcher in the Southeastern Conference, Starkville might be a good place to start. Because when it comes to new young arms in the SEC, few have outshined the Bulldogs' Nick Routt so far this season.
A 6-foot-3, 192-pound left-hander, Routt hasn't been just solid by freshman standards. He's been excellent when compared to almost anyone else in the league. In just five starts, Routt has established himself in the Mississippi State rotation and declared himself the possible ace of the Bulldogs' staff.
Routt has pitched 31 2/3 innings, given up just nine earned runs and struck out 31 batters so far. And the scary thing for Bulldogs opponents is this isn't even their Friday night guy. Instead Routt has been the No. 2 man in the rotation so far, giving State a big edge on those Saturday afternoon showdowns.
Mississippi State and No. 9 ranked Arkansas tangle in a three-game Southeastern Conference series…