A week ago, we talked rather negatively about the MSU baseball team. The team was coming off a poor performance on the road against one of the nation's elite, Vanderbilt, and were swept for the first time this season. I was able to talk to senior catcher, Nick Ammirati on Tuesday and while he mentioned they weren't happy with their play, they weren't worried at all. I was, however, but boy was I wrong.
The Dawgs (36-13, 13-11) didn't play incredibly well this weekend but never looked flustered and never lost composure in all three games. The Dawgs started off mad in the opening game of a double-header on Saturday. A seven-run second inning looked to do in the Tide as State would take an 8-0 lead through three. But Bama kept fighting back and closed to gap to 8-6. State would use two doubles and four RBI from DH Trey Porter in the game which would prove to be the difference and they went on to win game one, 10-6.
Game two looked like it would be more of the same with a quick two-run lead in the first inning. Bama again battled back against Kendall Graveman and would take a 4-3 lead into the eighth inning. State would again use the unlikely route in the game. Sam Frost and Jacob Robson combined to go 7-for-10 with Robson delivering the game winning run in extra innings for State to win the series.
Yesterday's game three looked to be a loss for State in the fifth inning. A quick 2-0 lead was again erased and after Ross Mitchell came in for a struggling Jacob Lindgren, he would give up a three-run home run to lose to lead and put State in a 5-2 hole. State battled back and would rally with a three-run seventh inning to tie the game off an infield single of Canadian Robson.
Chad Girodo and Jonathan Holder were the keys to the rally going 5.2 innings of scoreless relief striking out eight. Holder's 3.0 innings were absolutely remarkable as he struck out six and moved his scoreless innings to 24.1 straight over a 13-game stretch meaning that his 27.1 school record as a freshman is possibly shattered this season.
Plain and simple, the State players and coaches knew that they had to take care of business and they did. State now sits squarely in the conversation of hosting a regional for the first time in 10 years. Win the next two series, and they're a lock. Now let's look at this week's top 25, in which State moved up in every
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With an RPI at 10th at the moment, State is in prime position to move into a Regional host spot. Finishing the season strong will get them in. Now, STATS
Batting Average: 3rd (NCAA 26th) - Hunter Renfroe (.394)
Hits: 6th - Frazier (65); T-7th- Renfroe (63)
Slugging %: 1st (NCAA 3rd) - Renfroe (.781)
On Base %: 2nd (NCAA 26th)- Renfroe (.488); 11th- Alex Detz (.433); 15th- Brett Pirtle (.429)
Runs Scored: 3rd--Renfroe (45); T-4th- Adam Frazier (44)
RBI: 3rd (NCAA 25th) - Renfore (49)
Doubles: T-3rd Frazier and Renfroe (13)
Triples: 2nd (NCAA T-7th) - Frazier (6)
Home Runs: 1st (NCAA 3rd) - Renfroe (15)
Total Bases: T-1st (NCAA T-8th) - Renfroe (125); 9th- Frazier (90)
Walks: 1st (NCAA T-11th) - Alex Detz (40); T-4th- Renfroe (29)
Hit by Pitch: T-2nd-Brett Pirtle (14)
At Bats: T-2nd- Frazier (201); T-5th-Bradford (190)
Batting Average: 3rd (.294)
Hits: 3rd (481)
Slugging %: 4th (.406)
On Base %: 3rd (NCAA 26th) (.394)
Runs Scored: 3rd (309)
RBI: 3rd (275)
Doubles: 4th (78)
Triples: 4th (12)
Home Runs: 5th (27)
Total Bases: 3rd (664)
At Bats: 2nd (1635)
Walks: T-1st (NCAA T-14th) (222)
Hit by Pitch: 4th (62)
Stolen Bases: T-4th (51)
Team/Individual Defense and Pitching
Earned Run Average: 4th (NCAA 10th) (2.58) Leaders: Ross Mitchell- 2nd (NCAA 14th) - (1.32); Kendall Graveman- 12th (2.47)
Opposing Batting Average: 4th (.219) Leaders: R. Mitchell-6th (.217); Jacob Lindgren- 11th (.234)
Innings Pitched: 4th (439.1) Leader: Graveman- 9th (76.2)
Strikeouts: 1st (NCAA 12th) (410) Leader: Jonathan Holder- 11th (64)
Wins: 3rd (36) Leaders: R. Mitchell- T-2nd (NCAA T-9th) (9); Luis Pollorena- T-8th-(6)
Saves: T-5th (15) Leader: Jonathan Holder- 2nd (NCAA T-8th)- (13)
Appearances: Leader: Chad Girodo- T-7th (24)
(Least Amount) Hits: T-3rd (346) Leaders: Lindgren- 1st (43); R. Mitchell- 7th- (48)
(Least Amount) Earned Runs: 4th (126) Leader: R. Mitchell- 1st- (9); Lindgren- T-9th (19)
(Least Amount) Doubles: 3rd (48); Leaders: Lindgren- 5th (5); R. Mitchell- 15th (8)
(Least Amount) Triples: T-3rd (4) Leader: Graveman, R. Mitchell and Pollorena -T-1st (0)
(Least Amount) Home Runs: T-4th (15) Leaders: Pollorena, Lindgren and R. Mitchell- T-3rd (1)
(Least Amount) Walks: T-10th (164) Leader: Lindgren- T-6th (14); R. Mitchell- T-13th (17)
(Least Amount) Intentional Walks: 1st (2)
Fielding %: 3rd (NCAA 24th) (.975) Leader: Jacob Robson- T-1st (1.000)
Chances: 1st (1964)
Putouts: 4th (1318) Leader: Wes Rea- T-13th (293)
Assists: 1st (597) Leader: Frazier-1st (165); Pirtle- 10th (126)
Double Plays: 1st (NCAA T-3rd) (62) Leaders: Frazier-1st (50); Pirtle-5th (37); Rea- T-9th (35)
Solid stats across the board defensively and offensively. It's worth noting how much MSU has improved offensively. The offense last season ranked in the bottom four in the conference in nearly every statistical category on offense. They rank in the top five in all of the offensive categories this year. Impressive job by the coaches and players.
Coming up for the Bulldogs is a huge weekend. State travels to Oxford to take on the Ole Miss Rebels (33-16, 12-12) in a three game series. The Rebels are coming off of back-to-back series A series win gets them probably firmly in to NCAA Regional projections. Should be fun.
Game times for this weekend are 6:30 p.m. Friday, 4 p.m Saturday and 1 p.m Sunday with a telecast regionally on CSS.