By: Sean Cartell
SEC Digital Network
Highlights | Box Score
HOOVER, Ala. – Adam Frazier went 4-for-5 with two runs scored Thursday and fifth-seeded Mississippi State hung on for a 6-4 win against ninth-seeded Texas A&M in the Southeastern Conference Baseball Tournament at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium.
The Bulldogs (43-16) advance to Saturday’s second semifinal, which will be televised on ESPNews. The Aggies (32-26) will face top-seeded Vanderbilt in tomorrow’s second game on CSS.
Mississippi State’s Ross Mitchell picked up the win to improve to 11-0 on the year, while Jonathan Holder earned his 16th save of the year.
Mississippi State was the first on the scoreboard, with a run in the top of the first inning. Frazier singled up the middle to begin the inning and advanced to third on a fielder’s choice and throwing error. An RBI ground out by Brett Pirtle scored Frazier.
Texas A&M took a 2-1 advantage in the bottom of the first inning. Mikey Reynolds singled to open the inning and then Blake Allemand reached on a fielder’s choice, which advanced Reynolds on an error. Cole Lankford also reached on a fielder’s choice that scored Reynolds. Lankford later scored on a single to left field by Hunter Melton.
Mississippi State knotted the score at 2-2 in the top of the fourth as Pirtle was hit by a pitch to open the inning and came around to score on a sacrifice fly by Nick Ammirati.
The Bulldogs extended their lead to 5-2 with three runs in the top of the fifth inning. Frazier and Alex Detz recorded consecutive singles to open the frame. A single up the middle by Pirtle plated Frazier. After a groundout advanced the runners and Demarcus Henderson walked, a fielding error by Texas A&M allowed Pirtle and Detz to score.
The Aggies cut within one in the bottom of the fifth as Chance Bolcerek and Krey Bratsen started the inning with back-to-back singles. They were driven in by Alleman’s two-run single to bring Texas A&M within one, 5-4.
Mississippi State added an insurance run in the eighth as Derrick Armstrong singled and was driven in by Frazier to make the final 6-4 margin.
2013 SEC Baseball Tournament
Game 12 – Thursday, May 23 – 8:45 p.m.
#9 Texas A&M vs. #5 Mississippi State
Mississippi State Postgame Quotes
Head Coach John Cohen
“The most significant thing about this victory is I get to watch my daughter graduate from high school tomorrow. It’s a special day for her tomorrow, and I’m glad I get to be a part of that. Our kids did a great job tonight. We really pitched it well. We just didn’t defend in certain sequences. The ball we lost in Wes (Rea)’s glove was a high chopper and the ball that we threw to second base that (Brett) Pirtle let get deep, which was surprising because he’s just been a phenomenal defender all year long. If we handle those two plays, the whole ballgame is different. They gave us a couple, too. (Adam) Frazier was fabulous tonight. His at bats really won the game for us. Defensively he was outstanding as well. We were very workman like on the mound. I feel bad for Kendall (Graveman), because if we make those plays early in the ballgame, he’s probably going to get through six or seven innings. We just didn’t want to push him at this point in time because we’re going to need him a week from now.”
On the speed of the offense
“All of the elements were there for us to do a little bit of hitting and running. We were throwing with some guys who had some sink. Our kids responded. You can put those plays on all you want, but if you don’t execute them they don’t work. (Alex) Detz’s hit and run was a big one for us.”
On Hunter Renfroe’s throw
“I don’t know that anybody in college baseball would have made that throw. He might have thrown that ball 100 miles per hour from centerfield. Even though he didn’t get any hits tonight, he’s a guy who can change the game just like that. That was a huge double play.”
On what was working for him
“It was good. I didn’t really get far last time I face them but I did the same thing today. I attacked them with the fastball. They were swinging early and getting early outs which helped my pitch count and we got some plays too. That was probably a top-10 play by Hunter (Renfroe), my neck hurts from watching that ball go to first base. I thought we had seen it all from Hunter but he keeps doing different things and shocking us.”
On his four-hit night
“I see the ball pretty well here and just get lucky sometimes.”
Texas A&M Postgame Quotes
Coach Rob Childress
On the outcome
“I’m very disappointed. We gave up six runs. We didn’t play good defense. That hasn’t been very characteristic of us. Give Mississippi State credit.”
On MSU’s lefty
“He’s pretty good. He’s 10-0. He’s not going to over power you, but he knows what he’s doing out there. He isn’t going to give many opportunities.”
On not driving the ball
“I felt like we drove some pitches against the lefty, but it’s a different air. The north wind is blowing. If it wasn’t blowing it was running flat. The balls we did hit well didn’t carry at all. MSU made us create mistakes and they took advantage of it.”
On the offense
“He’s a sinker guy trying to play the ball very well. I thought he put a lot of good swings on the ball. Our offense hit well enough to win. We just didn’t play good defense. We made careless mistakes and gave too many runs.”
On Vanderbilt tomorrow
“We have to play fundamentally sound baseball. We need good at bats and I think we’ll be fine.”