By Rick Harvey/Special to the Daily Journal
FAYTTEVILLE, Ark. – Senior right-hander Kendall Graveman threw his fourth-career complete game, Mississippi State’s first of the season, as the 25th-ranked Bulldogs beat No. 15 Arkansas 4-1 on Saturday at Baum Stadium.
The victory snapped a six-game Arkansas winning streak and evens the SEC series at 1-1. Game 3 is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. today.
Graveman threw 99 pitches, didn’t allow a walk, gave up 5 hits and struck out 5. After allowing an Arkansas run on two hits in the first inning, Graveman retired 21 consecutive until the Razorbacks had two hits in the ninth.
“My two-seam was working, the change-up was working, and toward the end I started throwing a little slider because I hadn’t shown that,” said Graveman (3-2). “Once I started going with that they had some off-balance swings, so I think it worked pretty well.”
Mississippi State (23-7, 3-5 SEC) took the lead for good off Arkansas starter Ryne Stanek (2-2) in a two-run fourth, highlighted by a Razorbacks error and singles from Hunter Renfroe and Wes Rea.
The Bulldogs added a run off a double from Adam Frazier and a single from Alex Detz in the fifth to make it 3-1 and then used a single from Sam Frost and a sacrifice fly from Frazier to lead 4-1.
“You expect that kind of performance from a senior who has done this before,” Mississippi State Coach John Cohen said. “He did a great job against a really aggressive Arkansas team that was really on a roll.
“He only threw 99 pitches. That’s ridiculous. In the seventh inning he only had 63 pitches. He did a good job of working both sides of the plate. He got a ton of ground balls and that’s what he does. We needed that today.”
Renfroe went 2 for 4 to extend his hitting streak to 15 games. The Bulldogs had their 15th error-free game.
“Everybody on the infield made a special play today,” Cohen said. “We pitched, played good defense, and offensively, had just enough to win.”