By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Recapping No. 14 MSU’s 11-6 win over No. 6 Virginia in Game 1 of the NCAA super regional at Davenport Field on Saturday.
• The buzz: MSU banged out 20 hits, including a career-high six by shortstop Adam Frazier, and is now one win away from advancing to the College World Series for the ninth time. The Bulldogs (47-18) just kept stringing together good innings, and while the pitching was shaky at times, the defense helped out a lot, especially late in the game. Virginia (50-11) could not figure out a way to make its 24th comeback win of the year.
• Big inning: MSU pulled ahead 4-3 in the third with two runs, including Demarcus Henderson‘s go-ahead sac fly RBI. Then State tacked on three more in the fourth, with both Frazier and Hunter Renfroe stroking triples. Renfroe’s hit scored two runs.
• Key stats: MSU turned four double plays, including one each in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings. … Virginia made four errors, leading to six unearned runs. … MSU was 6 of 18 with runners in scoring position, while UVA was 3 of 10. … State stranded 15 runners, Virginia seven.
• MSU at the plate: The 20 hits was one shy of a season-high, and 10 of them were by Frazier (6 of 6) and Renfroe (4 of 5). Both of those guys had three RBIs, and Frazier tied an MSU single-game record for hits. … Wes Rea had three hits, as did Henderson, who scored two runs.
• Virginia at the plate: The Cavaliers had 11 hits. … Joe McCarthy, Reed Gragnani and Nick Howard had two hits apiece. … UVA took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the first inning, which was highlighted by Mike Papi‘s leadoff homer, his seventh this season.
• MSU on the mound: Starter Kendall Graveman (7-5) got roughed up early, allowing three runs in the first inning. But he settled in after that, allowing six runs – four earned – on nine hits in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out three and walked two on a season-high 118 pitches. … Ross Mitchell tossed 3 2/3 innings for his second save. He wasn’t especially sharp, but he got three consecutive inning-ending double plays to escape trouble. He allowed no runs on two hits with three walks and no Ks.
• Virginia on the mound: Starter Brandon Waddell, a freshman left-hander, went 3 1/3 innings. He gave up six runs, three earned, on six hits with three strikeouts and two walks. He committed an error in the third inning to allow a run in, and MSU scored twice that frame. … UVA used four relievers, all of them freshmen. They combined to throw 5 2/3 innings, allowing five runs (two earned) on 14 hits.
• Quotable: “I noticed they started me off with a breaking ball every time. I didn’t really want to hit their pitch and just made them come to me and found a couple of holes.” – Frazier
• Bottom line: MSU hasn’t decided yet who will start on the mound tomorrow, but Cohen was glad he could rest lefty reliever Chad Girodo today. The senior logged 6 2/3 innings on Monday, so he could be the first guy out of the bullpen Sunday. The game is set for a 6 p.m. Central start on ESPNU. Virginia will go with senior lefty Scott Silverstein (10-1, 2.86) on the hill.
Read more in Sunday’s NEMS Daily Journal newspaper.