Brandon Woodruff failed to make it through the first inning for the second-consecutive game and gave way to an early 3-0 Alcorn State in just 0.2 innings pitched. But the Bulldogs battled back grinding out 10 hits while drawing 10 walks as the battled back to take a 7-6 midweek win over the Alcorn State Braves.
Mississippi State (20-4) played arguably their sloppiest game of the season with three errors defensively and left 14 runners on base with two innings of leaving the bases loaded.
Woodruff came out of the gate struggling for the third straight appearance after lasting just 0.2 innings in his last start against Mississippi Valley State and garnered the Mississippi State's first loss of the season in relief against Central Arkansas. He gave up three runs on four hits while walking two batters and hitting another.
State would get Luis Pollorena to come in and get the final out of the first, but not before an error from his glove brought in another run and State trailed 4-0 before they even took the plate.
Adam Frazier would immediately go to work with a single blooping into left field and giving him a hit in 21 of the 24 games this season, but MSU wasn't able to do anything with Frazier and the Dawgs went three-up-three-down in the second.
Trailing 5-0, MSU needed to make something happen and they did in the bottom of the third. Nick Ammirati would start things off with the first of his three singles followed by Frazier reaching again on a walk. Hunter Renfroe would then deliver with one out by smashing a two-run double through the left-center gap. Back-to-back walks to Alex Detz and Pirtle followed by a Daryl Norris flyout brought up Jacob Robson with two outs. Robson was walked and the third run of the inning came in to cut the Braves lead to 5-3.
After loading the bases and not getting anything to the plate in the fourth, the Bulldogs went back to work in the fifth with Robson leading off with the second of his three walks and with one out Ammirati delivered with an RBI single but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double. The Bulldogs cut into the lead again, 5-4.
State would get the lead for good in the sixth with a one-out two-run double by Norris and would take a 7-5 lead into the eighth. Myles Gentry (1-0) would pitch a gem until the eighth. Coming into the game to relieve Luis Pollorena, Gentry struck out six of the first seven batters he faced and allowed no one to reach in those first seven. He would go 4.0 solid innings striking out eight (both career highs) and allowing just one earned run on no hits.
The run came with the Bulldogs in a bit of trouble. A couple of errors had brought home a run and there were runners in scoring position with no one out. That is when Chad Girodo stepped in. Girodo seemingly saved the Bulldogs by striking out each of the three batters he faced and keeping the State lead.
Jonathan Holder (10 saves) would close it out for the Bulldogs in the ninth with a perfect inning and two strikeouts.
The Diamond Dawgs were lead offensively by Ammirati (3-4; 2R, RBI, BB) and Frazier (3-4; 2B, 2R, BB).
The Maroon and White now turns its attention to #8 Kentucky in Lexington for a three-game series beginning Friday night.
- LIGHTS OUT: Much concern has been made about Jonathan Holder's past few outings. But the shutdown closer still is just about perfect when he enters with a save on the line. Tonight he garnered his 7th save of the season just two back of what he had all of last year when he tied for the seventh-best save-season in school history. The single season record of 13 (Scott Tanksley and Van Johnson) could be all but a done deal at this point. He also registered his 16th career save pushing him to sixth all-time.
- DEVELOPMENT CITY: Hunter Renfroe continues to show why he is a major MLB prospect. His third-inning double extended his hitting streak to nine games. His two-run two-bagger was his seventh of the season and after tonight, he sits at a team-leading 30 RBIs. In his first two seasons (76 games) he managed only 27.
- FRA-MAZING: Adam Frazier's base hit to lead off the bottom of the first meant that he has now hit in 21 of the Bulldogs 24 games this season and has him on a five-game hitting streak. He's also reached base safely in 22 of the games this year. He was 3-for-4 on the day to give him a team-leading 14 multi-hit ball games this year.
- HE'S GETTIN' IT AMMI-RIGHTI?: Nick Ammirati started off MSU's third-inning with a single to quietly extend his hitting streak to five games. The catcher had a career-high three hits tonight and reached base four times total.
- HE CAN GO FOR MYLES AND MYLES: Gentry showed MSU is continuing to develop their pitchers. The freshman still leads the team and is among the leaders in the league in appearances (13). Gentry came in with his team trailing 5-0 in the third and pitched exceptionally well. He recorded 4.0 innings with a career-high eight strikeouts and gave up no hits to earn the first win of his MSU career.
- THEY'VE GOT THE POWER: With their 10 hits, the Bulldogs have now had 10-plus hits in five-consecutive ball games and have hit in double digits 15 times in 24 games this year.