This is a day late because yesterday was spent at the zoo on a school field trip, and it was worth it just to see grizzly bears fighting in a pool. Anyway, thanks for your patience, and now I have some notes and numbers for you about MSU baseball.
The No. 21-ranked Bulldogs (36-13, 13-11 SEC) are coming off a sweep of Alabama, which keeps the mix for an NCAA regional host bid. Some regional projections ought to be coming out today and tomorrow, and as you know, RPI is always a big factor for the selection committee. MSU’s RPI rank is currently 10th in the country and third in the SEC, according to both BoydsWorld.com and WarrenNolan.com.
And here’s something to consider as well: The average RPI rank of each SEC opponent MSU plays this year is 26.5, which ranks highest in the league. That came from MSU baseball media relations director Joe Dier, who crunched the numbers. Ole Miss is next closest at 36.2. The Bulldogs do not play Georgia, Missouri or Tennessee this year – the three lowest-rated RPI teams in the SEC.
So, back to the past weekend. It was a particularly good one for center fielder C.T. Bradford, who was 7 of 15 with three RBIs, including the game-winning single in the 11th inning of Sunday’s 7-6 victory. On the year, the junior is batting .296 with 22 RBIs and 36 runs scored. Reliever Jonathan Holder also was clutch, tossing 5 2/3 scoreless innings over two games, picking up a save in the opener and a win in the finale.
Let us now look at where MSU ranks within the SEC in certain categories.
• Offense: Third in batting average at .294; fourth in slugging percentage at .406; third on on-base percentage at .394; fifth in home runs with 27; tied for first in walks with 222; first in strikeouts with 316.
• Pitching: Fourth in ERA at 2.58; fourth in opponent batting average at .219; first in strikeouts with 410; 14th in sac bunts allowed with 28 (that’s 14th as in fewest allowed); tied for fourth in home runs allowed with 15.
• Defense: Tied for third in fielding percentage at .975; tied for seventh in errors with 49; first in double plays with 62.
Individually, junior right fielder Hunter Renfroe continues to be at or near the top in several categories: third in batting (.394), first in slugging (.781), second in OBP (.488), third in runs scored (45), third in RBIs (49), tied for fourth in doubles (13), first in home runs (15).
Other Bulldogs of note: Adam Frazier, tied for fourth in runs scored (44), second in triples (6), first in assists (165); Alex Detz, first in walks (40); Brett Pirtle, tied for second in hit-by-pitches (14); Ross Mitchell, second in ERA (1.32); Jonathan Holder, third in batters struck out looking (28), tied for second in saves (13).