In an ugly defensive game, MSU beat Central Arkansas 5-3 to move on to a winner's bracket game vs. South Alabama (who beat Mercer 9-4 earlier Friday).
The announced attendance for this game was 11,102. It was the 16th largest in Dudy Noble Field history.
Graveman got into trouble in the first inning, loading the bases but he got out of it without any damage. UCA's starter, McClanahan, got into trouble of his own in the 1st as well, and MSU scored on a Wes Rea single but they left the bases loaded.
The Bears tied it up in the 3rd inning after a couple of base hits. Then poor defense plagued the Bulldogs. Adam Frazier started the inning with a boot, then Graveman was unable to catch the toss to him while covering first base on a bunt and compounded the problem by trying to throw the lead runner out at 3rd base but threw it well over Frost's head. That allowed a second run to score making it 2-1 UCA. On the next batter, however, Graveman made a great catch on a lined shot back to him and he doubled off the runner at 3rd.
Central Arkansas wasn't without their own problems though. In the 5th inning with 2 out, Pirtle hit a routine fly ball to left field that the outfielder lost in the lights allowing Brett to run all the way around to third - the official scoring was a triple but it was as routine a catch as you can get. Wes Rea capitalized on the misplay by getting a single through the infield, tying the game 2-2.
The 6th inning would be the Dawgs best. Frost walked and was sac bunted to 2nd by Ammo. Henderson came though with a single but it wasn't enough to score Frost. Still, Henderson took second on the throw to home and that allowed Frazier to hit a ground ball to second base to score the go-ahead run. Detz then singled followed by a double from Renfroe to make it 5-2. (Renfroe tried to score from 2nd on a wild pitch, and he was safe, but the 3rd base ump called him out for not touching the bag....not accurate per the picture above).
Graveman went 6.1 innings before handing things to Chad Girodo who went did well in his 1.2 bridging the gap to Holder. The big closer got the save but not without some trouble - he was pretty wild walking three and throwing a wild pitch allowing a run to score and the tying run to get into scoring position. But things worked out in the end, and State will continue on in the winner's bracket.
South Alabama will be the home team on Saturday night at 7:00 after winning a coin-flip.
A guy wanted a picture with me while I was in the restroom at Dudy Noble.I felt like Prince Akeem at the Knicks game in Coming to America!— Rick Ray (@RickRay1) June 1, 2013