MSU Seniors Getting it Done

Melina Vastola-US PRESSWIRE

The Diamond Dawgs have a pretty good group of seniors this year helping them win some ballgames

In college baseball it can be hard to find major contributions from seniors. Typically your best players like a Hunter Renfroe, Chris Stratton, Ed Easley or Paul Maholm are drafted after their junior season. You may have one or two guys who are at the core of your team, but most of the time it's sophomores and juniors making the most noise. While the juniors (Frazier, Bradford, Renfroe, Detz, Pirtle, Henderson, Armstrong, Norris, E. Mitchell and Bracewell) are probably the strongest on the team, there are a number of seniors who have really stepped up to help MSU get to this 46-18 mark heading into a Super Regional.

  • Chad Girodo - I'll start off with the guy on the tip of everyone's tongue after his stellar 6.2 inning performance to close out Game 7 of the Starkville Regional. Chad was, well, not very good his first three years in Starkville. He had a 6.70 ERA over 86 innings. But he went out to California and found himself as he had a remarkable summer pitching in their Collegiate League. He's come back to Starkville and continued his success here as he is currently 7-1 with a 1.10 ERA in 41 innings.
  • Sam Frost - He's been a presence in Starkville for 4 years now. Through his junior season Frost only hit .223 and had one of the worst fielding percentages on the team including 28 errors in 84 career starts. He still is statistically one of the worst fielders on the team, but he has made some great plays of late. But it's his hitting that has kept him in the lineup - all the way up to a .295 average this year in 23 starts. He leads the team with a .343 average in SEC play (granted he has 1/3 of the ABs the everyday guys have). Frost started every game of the Regional - he had a big RBI hit to tie the game on Sunday night and came around to score 3 runs on the weekend.
  • Kendall Graveman - He's been a workhorse for State the last three years. He has 45 career starts, 16 this year and is arguably the ace of the staff. He is the most consistent pitcher the Bulldogs have and has come through time and time again. I think one of his best performances this year was at Arkansas when he threw a complete game only allowing one run - at the time MSU was 2-5 in the SEC and had lost 7 of 12 overall, but Kendall came in a delivered when we needed him the most.
  • Luis Pollorena - If Graveman's not your ace, then Pollo is - or it's a 1-2 punch between these seniors. Everybody loves Pollo and for good reason. He's a great guy off the field, but he's also gritty and determined on it. Don't bother with the stats (6-3, 4.32), he's a guy you want on the hill to find a way to win. He'll play the outfield, come in from the bullpen, pinch run, even pinch hit - whatever it takes to win. He has made the most impact as a starting pitcher, however, with his 21 career starts including 12 this year.
  • Trey Porter - Unfortunately Trey hasn't been able to get into many games as of late, Sam Frost has gotten most of the starts vs. RHP and Detz has played DH. I guess you could say things backfired a little as Porter was one of the guys (along with Nick Flair and Chad Girodo) who met Detz in the California summer league and got him to come to MSU. He was expected to be the every day DH like last year, but Trey has still made an impact this year with his 19 RBI, and we could see him in a critical pinch hitting role going forward.
  • Nick Ammirati - From only 12 ABs as a juco transfer in 2012 to 144 so far as a senior, Ammo has really made a significant contribution. He's done well behind the plate and has pretty much taken over as the everyday catcher since Mitch Slauter broke his hand. A switch hitter, he has a .276 average in SEC play and 23 RBI this year.
  • Mitch Slauter - I really hate that Mitch has basically lost his job due to injury, but he has still found ways to make an impact like coming back early vs. Alabama and the game winning hit vs. Mizzou in the SEC Tournament. He was the iron man behind the plate in 2012, and he's still available as a guy with some pop in his bat off the bench.
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