Motivation. That's what it appeared Jerad Grundy and the well-rested Wildcats had up their sleeves as Kentucky handed Mississippi State a 5-1 loss in Game 10 of the SEC Baseball Tournament in Hoover, AL.
After defeating Kentucky three games in three-straight days less than a week ago, a semi-tired State battled to get pivotal hits when they mattered against LH Jerad Grundy (4-3, 4.15). The Bulldogs did jump on Kentucky early in the bottom of the first but found very, very little offense from then on out. State used three pitchers (starter Kendall Graveman, Luis Pollorena, and Ross Mitchell) and gave up seven Kentucky hits and committed one error before the 5th inning came to a close. Ben Bracewell, Taylor Stark, and Nick Routt also gave MSU pitching relief in the 8th and 9th innings.
UK's "gruesome" Grundy did his best Chris Stratton impression by going 6 innings with 9 Ks and only allowing four hits, two walks, and one earned run. His dominance on the mound seemed to play havoc with recently hot Bulldog batters.
The loss ended a five-game MSU winning streak, but only the sixth loss in the last 20 games for Mississippi State.
John Cohen and his Mississippi State Bulldogs now prepare for a wild elimination rematch with LSU tomorrow at 3 p.m. in Game 13 of the tournament. The game can be heard on either XM 199 or Sirius 213, or viewed on Comcast/Charter Sports Southeast (check your local provider because those channels get tricky). Yeah, and speaking of that, be aware of the dreaded BLACK OUT. If that does occur, watch this for 2-3 hours instead.
With the win, Kentucky gets yet another day off to prepare for a matchup against the winner of tomorrow's LSU-MSU game which will be played Saturday at high noon.