Posted: 5:24 p.m. Saturday, June 8, 2013
Rain from Tropical Storm Andrea pounded Davenport Field with rain Friday, and on Saturday the bats of Mississippi State pounded out 20 hits around the field to lead the Bulldogs to a 11-6 victory over the Virginia Cavaliers, the No. 6 national seed, in game one of their best of three super regional in Charlottesville.
Adam Fraizer (6-6, with two doubles and a triple, 3 runs, 3 RBIs) picked up a leadoff hit to start the game for the Bulldogs, and he later scored after a hit by Hunter Renfroe (4-5, 2 runs, 3 RBIs) and an error on the play. Pirtle later grounded out to second scoring Alex Detz giving Mississippi State an early 2-0 lead.
Virginia wasted no time answering the Bulldogs, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first. Mike Papi hit a lead off home run, and following some shaky fielding Bulldogs, two more Cavaliers crossed the plate to put Virginia ahead 3-2.
Mississippi State regained the lead in the top of the first when C.T. Bradford scored Renfroe on a fielder's choice, and Demarcus Henderson followed with a sacrifice fly to score Brett Pirtle to put the Bulldogs ahead 4-3.
The Bulldogs started to pull away in the top of the fourth when Renfroe ripped a two-RBI triple to centerfield to score Detz and Fraizer, who also tripled, and Pirtle scored Renfroe with a sacrifice fly to put Mississippi State ahead 7-3.
The Cavaliers got one back in the bottom of the inning when Nick Howard scored to cut the Maroon and White lead to 7-4.
The Bulldogs picked up another run in the fifth when Fraizer drove in Nick Ammirati, and they added two runs in the sixth to go up 10-4.
After giving up a run the bottom of the sixth, Kendall Graveman, who pitched 5.1 innings in picking up the win, handed the ball over to Ross Mitchell, who issued a first batter walk to let Virginia cut the lead to 10-6.
The Cavaliers would not score again.
Mississippi State added an extra run in the eighth inning to provide the final margin.
The Bulldogs chased Virginia ace Brandon Waddell after only 3.1 innings after he surrendered six runs on six hits.
For a team that has struggled defensively of late, Mississippi State did not rid the specter of the error, committing two in the game, but the Bulldogs did turn four double plays to thwart multiple Cavalier opportunities. Pirtle also put on a defensive clinic in the ninth inning with highlight reel plays at second base.
The story of the game, however, was the Bulldog bats. The 20 hits represented a season high for Mississippi State, and the Bulldogs forced Virginia to start to work deep into the their bullpen.
Fraizer's lead off single was his 95th of the season, tying him with Cohen for the seventh highest total in single season history. By the time his day was done he sat tied with Richard Lee at fourth on that list with 100 hits, only three shy of the record held set by Brian Wiese in 1998.
The six-hit performance was only the fourth in Bulldog history and the first since Burke Masters did the trick in 1990.
After finding a slump to close the season, Renfroe is hitting like the 13th pick in the draft. The outfielder now has a six game hitting streak, has picked up hits in 48 of 60 games.
Pirtle's base hit means that he had now reached safely in each of his last 38 games.
Only throwing two pitchers, the Bulldogs find themselves in prime shape should their bullpen be called into service in game two or the if-necessary game three.
The game was the first meeting between Virginia and Mississippi State on the diamond.