The stage was set for a disastrous weekend. MSU trailed 6-0 going into the sixth inning of the ball game Sunday facing a first round draft pick in Bobby Wahl. They had dropped both games of the Saturday double-header to lose the series against the Rebels before even getting to Wahl. Pitching and defense was struggling and they had only two hits in the third and final game to that point. It was over, no chance.
That's when State proved us all wrong. The Bulldogs (38-15, 14-13) came back from six runs down to win in dramatic fashion against Ole Miss leaving a sour taste in the Rebel's mouths and giving State hope at still hosting a regional. It was the best possible end for MSU in a series loss.
For the second-consecutive weekend, when State knew they had to win they won. Now if they can just know they have to win every game they'll be on to something. Pitching is becoming a major concern for State as Kendall Graveman and Jacob Lindgren both struggled in their respective ball games and although Luis Pollorena was dominate at times in game one, he gave up big plays at the wrong time.
One possible solution for postseason play could be Ben Bracewell who threw 5.1 scoreless innings Sunday only allowing one hit. He has been rock solid for the better part of the season and could be a guy State turns to in the postseason.
The Bulldogs got back in action last night for the final non-conference game of the regular season. State wasted 10 runners on the base-paths but was able to use some pretty solid bullpen pitching from Chad Girodo, Daryl Norris, C.T. Bradford and Jonathan Holder as they beat Oral Robert 3-2. Holder garnered his 14th save of the season, a new MSU single-season record.
State dropped in the rankings but is still considered a top 25 team. Let's take a look.
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Batting Average: 5th - Hunter Renfroe (.381)
Hits: 4th - Frazier (74); T-8th- Renfroe (67)
Slugging %: 1st - Renfroe (.733)
On Base %: 3rd- Renfroe (.475); 10th- Alex Detz (.439)
Runs Scored: 4th--Renfroe (48); T-5th- Adam Frazier (47)
RBI: T-3rd - Renfore (51)
Doubles: T-3rd Frazier (15); T-10th- Renfroe (13)
Triples: T-2nd - Frazier (6)
Home Runs: 1st - Renfroe (15)
Total Bases: 2nd- Renfroe (129); 9th- Frazier (101)
Walks: 2nd - Alex Detz (42); T-7th- Renfroe (31)
Hit by Pitch: 4th-Brett Pirtle (15)
At Bats: 3rd- Frazier (220); T-9th-Bradford (203)
Batting Average: 3rd (.293)
Hits: 3rd (520)
Slugging %: 4th (.398)
On Base %: 3rd (.391)
Runs Scored: 3rd (327)
RBI: 3rd (292)
Doubles: 6th (81)
Triples: T-5th (12)
Home Runs: T-7th (27)
Total Bases: 4th (706)
At Bats: 4th (1773)
Walks: 1st (238)
Hit by Pitch: 4th (64)
Stolen Bases: T-5th (51)
Team/Individual Defense and Pitching
Earned Run Average: 4th (2.68) Leaders: Ross Mitchell- 1st- (1.28)
Opposing Batting Average: 4th (.221) Leaders: R. Mitchell-8th (.217)
Innings Pitched: 5th (473.1) Leader: Graveman- 12th (81.0)
Strikeouts: 1st (438) Leader: Jonathan Holder- T-11th (70)
Wins: T-3rd (38) Leaders: R. Mitchell- T-4th (9); Luis Pollorena- T-11th-(6)
Saves: T-5th (16) Leader: Jonathan Holder- 2nd- (14)
Appearances: Leader: Chad Girodo- T-5th (27)
(Least Amount) Hits: T-3rd (377) Leaders: R. Mitchell- 7th- (50)
(Least Amount) Earned Runs: 4th (141) Leader: R. Mitchell- 1st- (9)
(Least Amount) Doubles: T-2nd (49); Leader: R. Mitchell- T-13th (8)
(Least Amount) Triples: 4th (5) Leaders: R. Mitchell and Pollorena -T-1st (0)
(Least Amount) Home Runs: T-4th (16) Leaders: R. Mitchell- T-2nd (1); Pollorena- T-9th (2)
(Least Amount) Intentional Walks: 1st (2)
Fielding %: 5th (.974) Leader: Jacob Robson- T-1st (1.000)
Chances: 2nd (2109) Leader: Wes Rea- 15th (347)
Putouts: 5th (1420) Leader: Wes Rea- 13th (330)
Assists: 2nd (635) Leader: Frazier-1st (181); Pirtle- T-11th (135)
Double Plays: 1st (63) Leaders: Frazier-T-1st (51); Pirtle-9th (38); Rea- 11th (36)
Coming up for the Bulldogs is the biggest series of the season. They finish out the regular season at home against South Carolina (38-14, 16-10). State needs a three-game sweep to become the SEC's number four seed and receive a first-round bye in next week's SEC tourney. State probably needs a series win to give themselves a solid chance at a regional host.
The series begins tomorrow with a 6:30 p.m. start. Friday night's game two is set for 6:30 p.m. as well with a 2 p.m. game three on Saturday.