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    MSU Advances Past Arkansas

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    2012 SEC Baseball Tournament
    Game 2- Mississippi State 9, Arkansas 1

    Box Score
    Video Highlights

    HOOVER, Ala. – A six-run ninth inning highlighted a banner day for the Mississippi State baseball team. The 21st-ranked Bulldogs used that big burst late to sprint past the 25th-ranked Arkansas Razorbacks 9-1 in an opening-round game of the Southeastern Conference Tournament played Tuesday afternoon at Regions Park.
    The Bulldogs (35-21) won a conference tournament game for the first time since the 2005 season. MSU, the tournament’s seventh seed, will now face No. 2 LSU (42-14), the tournament’s top seed, in a second-round matchup Wednesday. That game will start 30 minutes after the completion of the 9:30 a.m. elimination game between Ole Miss and Arkansas.
    For the second time in three games, the Bulldogs swung the momentum in a contest with a massive three-run home run. This time, the big blow came courtesy of Wes Rea, who launched his fifth round-tripper of the year over the left center field wall.
    “It was a fastball in and I had seen pitches from that guy before so I was sitting on the fastball,” Rea said. “I was really, with runners on second and third, just trying to get under something to the outfield for an RBI situation but with (Ryne Stanek’s) velocity, the ball will jump on you. It did there.”
    That home run placed the Maroon and White in a commanding 3-0 lead in the top half of the second inning. From there, the MSU pitching quartet of Brandon Woodruff, Caleb Reed, Ross Mitchell and Jonathan Holder kept the Hogs uncalled.
    Woodruff (1-2), a true freshman from Wheeler, pitched the first five innings, while earning his first win in the Maroon and White. The right-hander allowed two hits and no runs, with five strikeouts and one walk. Woodruff faced 22 batters and threw 72 pitches. He was aided by two different 1-2-3 innings in the field.
    “I was anxious and nervous before my first SEC start sure but I eventually got settled down,” Woodruff said. “Then Wes’s home run really allowed me to just throw strikes.”
    Caleb Reed faced four batters in the sixth inning and was touched for the lone Arkansas run. Ross Mitchell completed the sixth inning, threw the seventh inning and got an out in the eighth inning.
    Jonathan Holder then brought the Dogs home with his seventh save. Holder, a true freshman from Gulfport, worked around one walk to get five outs during the six batters he faced. Holder has not allowed a run in 24.1 innings of work this season. Of the MSU pitching quartet, three of four were freshmen.
    “We got the big blow early from Wes and what that did was allow our kids the opportunity to relax and just play,” MSU head coach John Cohen said. “Those older guys that went through that run we had last year desperately want to go through a run like that again. Our leadership on this club has allowed our freshmen to grow up a little bit faster."          
    MSU blew the contest open by sending 10 batters to the plate during a six-run ninth inning. For the Bulldogs, it was their largest inning against a conference opponent this season. MSU benefited greatly from two Arkansas errors in that at-bat, as all six of the runs were unearned.
    Sam Frost had a two-run single in that at-bat. Matthew Britton and Demarcus Henderson also had hits in the big inning.
    MSU finished with nine hits, while beating Arkansas for the first time in five SEC tournament meetings.  Arkansas finished with seven hits, including multiple hits for Matt Vinson.
    Adam Frazier led the Bulldogs with his fifth three-hit game of the season. A dominant force in the field, the Bulldog shortstop had two nifty defensive gems, including a deep in the hole stab to start an inning-ending double play in the seventh inning. Second baseman Matthew Brinson also snagged a line drive, to prevent an extra-base hit.
    While the Bulldogs did make two errors, the defensive brilliance offset the miscues. Woodruff also got a bouncer back to the mound to start a pitcher-catcher-first baseman double play to end the fifth inning.
    Henderson added his second straight multi-hit game and seventh of the season. Rea drove in three runs for the fourth time this season and also walked a season-best three times.
    Stanek (6-4) threw 5.2 innings and took the loss. Stanek allowed four hits and three runs (all earned), with seven strikeouts and five walks. Brandon Moore, Barrett Astin and Chris Oliver all followed. The trio allowed five hits but was undone by the Arkansas defensive issues in the ninth inning.

    2012 SEC Baseball Tournament
    Post-Game Notes
    Regions Park • Hoover, Ala.

    Game 2 • Tuesday, May 22
    (7) Mississippi State 9, (6) Arkansas 1


    •    Today’s game is the fifth meeting between Mississippi State and Arkansas at the SEC Tournament and the first win for the Bulldogs. The Razorbacks won the first four meetings in 1993 (5-2), 1998 twice (10-3, 7-3), and 2011 (7-2).
    •    The Bulldogs extend their all-time series lead over the Razorbacks to 45-37.  Mississippi State improves their winning streak to four games while Arkansas’ four-game winning streak is snapped.
    •    Mississippi State moves to 35-21 on the season while Arkansas falls to 39-18 on the year. The Bulldogs will take on LSU in Game Six tomorrow while Arkansas will play Ole Miss in an elimination game tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. in Game Five.
    •    For Mississippi State, this is their first win in the SEC Tournament since 2005 when they defeated Ole Miss 4-1 to win the SEC Tournament Championship.
    •    Arkansas junior 3B Matt Reynolds reached base for the 40th consecutive game after getting hit by a pitch in the first inning. However, he left the game due to the hit by pitch.
    •    Freshman first baseman Wes Rea blasted his first home run since April 13th against South Carolina to total five overall and increase his team leading RBI total to 38. It marks the 11th time this season that Rea has hit for multiple RBIs in a game and the fourth time this season that it has been at least three RBIs in a game. It was also Rea’s 17th extra base hit and his seventh game winning RBI. The three run home run for Rea was only the second three run homer of the season for the Bulldogs and 21st home run as a team.
    •    The home run given up by sophomore right handed pitcher Ryne Stanek of Arkansas was only the second allowed home run of the season.
    •    With a double down the left field line in the third, Arkansas’ senior shortstop Tim Carver extended his hitting streak to seven games.
    •    Mississippi State’s sophomore shortstop Adam Frazier extended his hitting streak to six games with a single in the third.  He has now hit safely in 46 of Mississippi State’s 56 games.
    •    Still leading 3-0 and facing a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the fifth, the Bulldogs turned their SEC-leading 60th double play of the season to get out of the inning. Mississippi State then turned No. 61 in the seventh to move into a tie for third place in the nation with Washington State.
    •    Senior Caleb Reed came on in the sixth and made his 91st career appearance for the Bulldogs and his 87th in relief.
    •    Stanek’s five walks were a season high.
    •    Bulldog starter Brandon Woodruff earned his first win of the season.
    •    Frazier’s three hits on the afternoon moves him past Ole Miss’ Tanner Mathis at 78 and into a tie for fourth place with Vanderbilt’s Anthony Gomez at 79 (Gomez plays later tonight against UGA). He also opened the game with a SEC-leading 46th walk.
    •    Mississippi State improves to 24-4 in 2012 when they are the first team to score.
    •    Designated Hitter Trey Porter was hit by a pitch for the 15th time this season to move him into third place in the SEC.
    •    Sam Frost came through with a two RBI single in the ninth. For Frost, it was his third multi-RBI game of the season.

    2012 SEC Baseball Tournament
    Post-Game Quotes
    Regions Park • Hoover, Ala.

    Game 2 • Tuesday, May 22
    (7) Mississippi State 9, (6) Arkansas 1

    Mississippi State Head Coach John Cohen
    Opening statement:

    “I thought that we would have our hands full. I think that Ryne Stanek is one of the great arms of our league. He threw very well against us in Starkville. He pitched like Nolan Ryan in Starkville. His breaking ball was so good today. We were struggling early on, but our kids just kept competing. That long ball from Wes [Rae] allowed our kids to relax. I can’t say enough about Brandon Woodruff. It was his first SEC start. He did a great job putting the ball in the strike zone. He is a phenomenal pitcher and a talented young man. Adam Frazier made a play early in the ball game that really could have affected the outcome either way with the play in the middle of the field. I have not seen it yet. He is a remarkable player, and I feel that jumpstarted us a little bit from a defensive standpoint. ”

    Adam Frazier (Soph., Shortstop)
    On his effort today…

    “I tried to get on base every time I came up to the plate. I get frustrated when I don’t get in, but you just have to keep on providing opportunities. Defensively I didn’t make all of the plays I wanted to, but when I got the opportunity to flip it to [Matthew] Britton he did a great job of turning it. ”

    Brandon Woodruff (Fr., Pitcher)
    On his reaction when he found out he was starting…

    “Coming in, I was a little anxious. After I got in and settled down I was all right. After Wes got his home run, I was really able to settle in and focus on getting strikes and let my defense work. I found out yesterday on Twitter, not from Coach (Cohen) but from the media.”

    Arkansas Head Coach Dave Van Horn
    Opening statement…

    “Give credit to Mississippi State. They did a great job today. They came out and overcame an error in the first inning and got out of that jam. We walked a hitter, and they got a hit. (Then we) got behind in the count and left one out in front of the plate, and (MSU) hit a three-run homer. Pretty good at bat. Obviously, after that we kept leaving runners on base. Runners on second and third, two down and the bases loaded with one out and we score (one run). We felt like we were still in the game. Finally got the big two-out hit … and it felt like the momentum was going to swing our way, and it never did. We couldn’t get that big over-the-hump hit. Pitching was OK today. Obviously the ninth inning is what it is. It just unraveled real quick with the passed ball on ball four. They hit it to the third baseman who hasn’t been playing there awhile. He’s been playing outfield because I had two guys that got injured during the game. The ball always seems to find those guys when things aren’t going your way. No excuses. We didn’t play well and we didn’t get it done. Just glad we get a chance to play again tomorrow.”

    Tim Carver (Senior, Shortstop)
    On the frustration in not being able to get quality at-bats…

    “We were never trying to hit into a double-play, obviously. Today, I’m not really sure what it was. We couldn’t get the big hit. We left so many runners on in scoring position. Tomorrow we’ll try to find a way to be competitive.”

    On the importance of coming out and playing well…
    “We didn’t come here to try and lose any games, so coming out 0-2 would be disappointing.  We’re not going to do that, and we’re going to do our best tomorrow to come out with energy and bring it to them.”

    Matt Vinson (Junior, Center fielder)
    On what Mississippi State starter Brandon Woodruff was doing to keep Arkansas’ hitters off balance…
    “He started off just filling up the zone and was very aggressive.”