Another weekend and another disappointing outcome as the Mississippi State Bulldogs dropped their third-consecutive weekend series, falling to #8 Kentucky in the double-header Saturday afternoon to lose the series. State jumped out on the Wildcats Friday evening with a 8-4 victory and was poised to win the series on Saturday as weather approached the Bluegrass state.
Both starters came out of the gate shaky in the Saturday ball games which proved to be the difference. Two-one run ball games that could have been prevented had State fans shaking their heads at the end of the game. Kendall Graveman began the opening game after previously being thought to be a game-three starter on Sunday with weather changing that.
Graveman ended the first with a 2-0 deficit and the strong performance following wasn't enough as Kentucky pitched a gem as well and state lost, 3-2.
In game two, Evan Mitchell couldn't even record an out. The junior walked/hit batters to load the bases and gave way to Ross Mitchell who was forced to pitch a day after four-plus innings of relief. The result was a 3-0 first inning with only one hit given up. State fought back to tie it and lost on a walk-off after the bases were loaded. In the end, pitching was decent enough during the two days that State should have won the series and possibly swept.
Outside of the 5-for-9 weekend for Hunter Renfroe, where he hit three bombs and brought in five runs, the offense didn't click like was hoped. Oh well.. Let's look at this week's top-25 where MSU has dropped for the third-straight week.
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The Dawgs just have no help with their schedule this year, and it gets even tougher this week, unfortunately.
Now lets move to the individual and team rankings around the SEC.....
Batting Average: 3rd- Hunter Renfroe (.425); 5th- Adam Frazier (.402); 11th- Alex Detz (.365)
Hits: T-1st- Frazier (43); T-8th Renfroe (34)
Slugging %: 1st- Renfroe (.900); 9th- Frazier (.542)
On Base %: 1st- Detz (.515); 7th- Renfroe (.485); 10th- Frazier (.463)
Runs Scored: 1st- Frazier (31)
RBI: 2nd- Renfore (35); T-12th Detz (20)
Doubles: T-6th Frazier and Renfroe (7)
Triples: 1st- Frazier (4)
Home Runs: 2nd- Renfroe (9)
Total Bases: 1st- Renfroe (72); 5th- Frazier (58)
Walks: 1st- Detz (23)
At Bats: 1st- Frazier (107); T-5th-Bradford (102)
As you can see, Hunter Renfroe is really good at baseball. There might not be anyone in the SEC that is swinging the bat better than he is either. Renfroe had three blasts this weekend, but the last two were solo shots that really needed to be home runs with someone on base. Just part of the frustration to go along with the weekend. Here's the Bulldogs rankings offensively as a team.
Batting Average: 1st (.308)
Hits: 1st (277)
Slugging %: 3rd (.427)
On Base %: 1st (.407)
Runs Scored: 1st (184)
RBI: 1st (167)
Doubles: 3rd (46)
Triples: T-1st (9)
Home Runs: 5th (14)
Total Bases: 1st (383)
At Bats: 1st (898)
Walks: T-2nd (120)
Hit by Pitch: T-3rd (37)
Stolen Bases: 5th (34)
Ok.. I can deal with this. It makes me feel much better that after two series in the SEC we've been able to stay consistent as a member of the top-5 across the board at the plate against really good pitching competition. I feel confident that the pitching staff will get it together and once it does, we should start seeing the team we thought we would. Speaking of pitching, let's see where they are sitting along with the defense.
Earned Run Average: 3rd (2.44)
Opposing Batting Average: 2nd (.204) Leader: Lindgren-11th (.210)
Innings Pitched: 1st (243.1)
Strikeouts: 1st (249) Leader: Lindgren-T-10th (35)
Wins: T-2nd (21) Leaders: Ross Mitchell-3rd (5); Luis Pollorena-T-7th (4)
Saves: 4th (9) Leader: Jonathan Holder-T-2nd (7)
(Least Amount) Doubles: 2nd (21)
(Least Amount) Triples: T-2nd (1) Leader: Kendall Graveman-T-1st (0)
Fielding %: 6th (.973)
Chances: 1st (1085) Leader: Detz-T-9th (193)
Putouts: 1st (730) Leader: Detz-8th (176)
Assists: 1st (326) Leader: Frazier-1st (84)
Double Plays: 1st (37) Leaders: Frazier-1st (31); Detz- T-4th (21); Pirtle-7th (18)
Dawgs continue to get the job done on the defensive side consistently. It's just the one or two mistakes that they do make that seems to come back to haunt them. Hopefully we will see that erased at some point.
Next up for the Diamond Dawgs is a home game tomorrow night against a solid Austin Peay team at 6:30 p.m. Sophomore Will Cox (2-1, 1.93) will be on the mound for the Bulldogs making his fourth start of the season. John Cohen mentioned early Monday that he could be moved into the weekend rotation as early as this weekend as well.
Speaking of this weekend, State is back on the grind as they travel to Fayetteville, Ark., for a big time match up against the #13 Razorbacks. Arkansas(17-7, 4-2) is coming off of a three-game sweep on the road at South Carolina and looks to be stabilized after struggling early which is bad news for State.
Game times this weekend are 6:35 Friday, 2:05 Saturday and 12:05 Sunday.