By NEMS Daily Journal
Both Mississippi State and Ole Miss were in action in baseball and football today. Catch up with how it went at the DJournal.com sports blogs.
BASEBALL FINAL: MSU 2, Florida 0 (Game 2)
Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal
• The buzz: MSU (26-8, 5-6 SEC) earned its first SEC series victory of the season behind the arm of senior right-hander Kendall Graveman, who tossed a complete game for the second consecutive week. Two early runs were more than enough for Graveman and the MSU defense, which made no errors and turned three double plays.
• Big inning: State went up 2-0 in the first inning, with leadoff man Adam Frazier doubling to get things going. He scored when Wes Rea was issued a bases-loaded walk, and then Alex Detz scored on C.T. Bradford‘s groundout.
• Key stats: Florida was 0 of 1 with runners in scoring position. … MSU was 6 of 16 on advancement opportunities, while Florida was 1 of 7. … MSU left six men on base, while UF stranded four.
• MSU at the plate: MSU had seven hits. … Frazier broke out of a 2-for-23 slump by going 2 of 4 with a double and a run scored. … Detz and Brett Pirtle also had two hits apiece.
BASEBALL FINAL – Vanderbilt 2, Ole Miss, 1 (Game 2)
By Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal
Mike Mayers pitched ahead of batters in the first and second but couldn’t close the innings efficiently. Then Vanderbilt began to make contact in the third.
The irony here is that Mayers walked six batters, and none of his walks scored. That’s not a blueprint for success, mind you, but a picture into what type pitcher Mayers still can be when his control is better. Just 4.2 innings today and lots of pitches.
This isn’t only about pitching. Ole Miss went into this series after back-to-back shutout losses at Florida – which doesn’t have nearly the pitching staff that Vanderbilt does. I didn’t expect big things against this Vanderbilt staff, but you have to manufacture offense. You have to find a way to score. That’s what Vanderbilt did Friday night. It’s what the Rebels aren’t doing, and now they’ve scored just two runs over the last 36 innings.
While today’s loss secured a third straight SEC series defeat, Ole Miss, amazingly, has been in position to win each game against the No. 2 team in the country in spite of erratic starting pitching and weak offense.
FOOTBALL – Mississippi St. defense has productive scrimmage
By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal
Mississippi State held its first full scrimmage of the spring today at Davis Wade Stadium, and the defense came away the winner, although the offense made a strong push in the second half.
The first team offense ran 72 total plays, while the twos logged 65. After scoring just one touchdown on its first eight possessions, the ones came out firing after halftime, with the help of a short field, to score TDs on four consecutive possessions, and five of six total. Quarterback Tyler Russell was sharp, completing 28 of 40 passes for 307 yards, six touchdowns and no interceptions. (The media collectively kept some very unofficial stats.)
According to the MSU coaches’ scoring system, the defense won the day. There were solid performances all around, including by linebacker Beniquez Brown (nine tackles, two PBUs, two TFLs), linebacker Chris Hughes (six tackles, PAT block), defensive lineman A.J. Jefferson, linebacker Ferlando Bohanna, and defensive end Denico Autry – among others. Defensive coordinator Geoff Collins was pleased with the effort as a whole, as you can see in the video below.
The run game was sparked by sophomore Josh Robinson, who had 90 yards on 14 carries. LaDarius Perkins rushed for 27 yards on 12 carries and had a 40-yard touchdown reception. He took a screen pass, juked a defender, and leaped inside the pylon.
Jameon Lewis, who has been impressive all spring, made nine catches for 143 yards and three touchdowns. Robert Johnson made eight catches for 78 yards, while Fred Brown had four catches for 63 yards and a TD. Tight end Brandon Hill also scored a touchdown on a nifty 29-yard grab.
FOOTBALL – Rebels scrimmage notebook
By Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal
The Rebels worked out for about about two hours, and Hugh Freeze was glad to see his offense bounce back from what he termed a disappointing performance in Friday’s practice.
“They responded, which is what you hope to see. They no question had more passion and determination. I was proud of the offensive staff and the way those guys responded to yesterday’s beatdown.”
Much of the field position was “offense friendly,” but as Freeze notes in a video on the blog, you still have to finish those drives:
Ratliff also had a 10-yard touchdown pass to tight end Matt Brown.
Sanders later dropped a touchdown pass from Barry Brunetti when he had a step on Nick Brassell.
Brunetti and Maikhail Miller both made plays in the passing game too, but while there was productivity, there was also inconsistency.
Brunetti had a 6-yard TD pass to Cody Core in the back of the end zone. Miller had a couple of nice throws on slant patterns, one to tight end Jack Nuismer for a touchdown.
Brunetti had some impressive option runs, and both quarterbacks had rushing touchdowns. Miller drew oohs and aahs from the crowd when he scored on a 9-yard run off left guard, finishing in the end zone by knocking heads with the defender and barreling in.
Miller, the former Itawamba AHS star, is listed at 6-foot-2, 240.
Read more in Sunday’s NEMS Daily Journal newspaper.