MSU Baseball Sweeps Doubleheader; Clinches Series vs. Alabama
STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI/MSU Athletics) – Mississippi State freshman Jacob Robson picked the perfect time for his first three-hit game with the Bulldogs.
Robson’s three-hit night, included a walk-off single in the home half of the 10th inning as the 15th-ranked Bulldogs rallied past Alabama 5-4 in the final game of a Southeastern Conference doubleheader Saturday afternoon at Dudy Noble Field.
MSU scored seven runs in the second inning to grab a 10-6 victory in the opener.
With the pair of victories, the Bulldogs clinched a conference series for the fourth time this season. MSU won its second straight series from Alabama but first in Starkville since 2005. The Bulldogs have now won five of the last six series meetings with the Crimson Tide.
MSU is 35-13 overall and 12-11 in league play, while Alabama is 27-20 and 11-11. The 35 regular-season wins is the most by a Maroon and White squad since the 2006 edition won a like number.
The Bulldogs built a 2-0 lead in the first inning of the nightcap. Wes Rea ripped a two-run double off the outfield wall in that at-bat. Hunter Renfroe gave MSU a 3-2 lead on his conference-best 15th home run of the year in the third inning.
Alabama rallied back with single scores in the fourth and sixth innings.
MSU starter Kendall Graveman worked six innings, allowing six hits and four runs (all earned), with three strikeouts and a walk. Ben Bracewell threw 3.2 innings of scoreless relief, before Chad Girodo (4-1) got the final out of the 10th inning and picked up the win.
After a leadoff walk to Rea in the eighth inning, singles by Sam Frost and pinch-hitter Brett Pirtle brought pinch-runner Derrick Armstrong around to score the game-tying run.
Winning in extra innings for the first time this season, the Bulldogs collected 12 hits, including a career-best four-hit night from Frost. Renfroe also had multiple hits for the 19th time this season.
Alabama finished with eight hits. Andrew Miller had two hits for the Crimson Tide. Ray Castillo (2-2) threw the final 2.1 innings and took the loss.
In game one, the Bulldogs reached their first seven runners off UA starter Spencer Turnbull (4-2) in the second inning. For the frame, MSU sent 10 to the plate, collected five hits and benefitted from one Alabama error.
Trey Porter had the first of a pair of two-run doubles in that at-bat. Robson added an RBI-single, while Adam Frazier had a two-run single. Alex Detz also had a sacrifice fly.
An inning later, Rea’s fifth home run of the season extended the Maroon and White advantage to 8-0.
The Crimson Tide got to MSU starter Luis Pollorena in the fifth inning. Pollorena was touched for five hits and five runs (all earned), with six strikeouts in 4.1 innings of work. Myles Gentry got the Bulldogs out of the fifth inning before giving way to winning pitcher Ross Mitchell (9-0) an inning later.
After throwing 1.1 innings of scoreless relief, Mitchell gave way to Jonathan Holder who earned his 13th save. Holder struck out four in 2.2 innings of work, including getting the Dogs out of two runners on, one out in the seventh inning.
For Holder, his 13 saves ties a single-season high for MSU. Scott Tanksley and Van Johnson currently hold the record as well.
Frazier, Rea, Bradford and Porter each had multiple hits for the Bulldogs.
Kyle Overstreet, Austen Smith and Brett Booth each had two of Alabama’s nine hits. Smith had three RBIs, including a two-run home run in the Alabama fourth inning.
A crowd of 7,382 watched the doubleheader giving the Bulldogs a total season attendance of 206,782. It is the seventh time in program history that the Bulldogs have drawn 200,000.
The series finale is set for a 1:37 p.m. first pitch Sunday. MSU is scheduled to start sophomore left-hander Jacob Lindgren (4-2, 3.47 ERA), while Alabama is scheduled to start sophomore left-hander Justin Kamplain (1-0, 4.82). The game will be televised nationally by CBS Sports Network but will also be available on HailStateTV.