STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI/MSU Athletics) – Mississippi State closed the non-conference portion of its 2013 baseball schedule with a 3-2 victory over Oral Roberts Tuesday night at Dudy Noble Field.
The 16th-ranked Bulldogs improved to 38-15 overall. MSU finishes the non-conference portion of its schedule with a 24-2 mark, including a perfect 11-0 mark in midweek play. For the Bulldogs, it is their largest number of non-conference wins since the 1989 squad went 25-5 outside the Southeastern Conference.
“It was a work-man like performance against a very good team,” MSU head coach John Cohen said. “Even though they are below .500, they have been to 14 straight NCAA tournaments. Over the years, it is a program that has won a ton of games.
“The kids had much rather play than practice. So this was a good opportunity to get some things done before a very big weekend.”
The Bulldogs were able to get some mound time for five hurlers, including Daryl Norris, who pitched in a game for the first time since the 2011 Super Regional at Florida. Trevor Fitts started and gave way to Chad Girodo in the fourth inning.
Girodo (5-1) threw 2.1 innings of shutout relief to garner the win. Norris faced six batters in 1.1 innings of work, before giving way to C.T. Bradford. Jonathan Holder got the final out of the eighth inning and struck the side out in the ninth inning for his 14th save.
The 14 saves by Holder is a new single season record.
“At his request, we have been trying to get Daryl some more time on the mound,” Cohen said. “His bullpens have been fabulous. It was good to see him go out there and do what he did in a game situation. Then what can you say about Jonathan that hasn’t been said before?
“Hopefully, he will get some more opportunities and will totally crush that record. We need him on the back end for us to be the type of team we want to be for the rest of the season.”
MSU built a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Back-to-back singles by Adam Frazier and Alex Detz got things going. A sacrifice fly by Brett Pirtle scored the run.
After Oral Roberts (21-29) grabbed a 2-1 lead in the fourth inning, the Maroon and White answered with two scores of their own in the home half of the inning.
C.T. Bradford led off that inning with a single and Sam Frost drew a walk. After a sacrifice bunt by Mitch Slauter moved both runners, a ground ball out by Jacob Robson tied the game. The Bulldogs grabbed the lead on a follow-up RBI-single by Frazier.
Frazier and Detz each finished with three hits. For Frazier, it was his eighth three-hit game, while Detz has done it six times. Bradford also had multiple hits.
Tyler Boss had three of Oral Robert’s seven hits. Logan Domenico also had multiple hits for the Golden Eagles. Starting pitcher Gavin Glanz (1-4) was lifted in the fourth inning and took the loss.
MSU remains home for South Carolina in Southeastern Conference action this weekend. The Bulldogs and Gamecocks meet at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, 6:30 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday to close out the regular season. MSU will go over five million in all-time attendance (since the statistic was tracked beginning in 1976) at Dudy Noble Field during Thursday’s game.