HOOVER, Ala. | Recapping MSU’s 3-0 win over Vanderbilt in the SEC Tournament championship game at Regions Park on Sunday.
• The buzz: Mississippi State won its first SEC Tournament title in seven years, and in typical fashion. The pitching locked things down, and the offense got on the board early. The three MSU runs scored on 1) a wild pitch, 2) a bases-loaded walk and 3) a sac fly. The win was the fifth of the week for State (39-22), which played six games in as many days. Shortstop Adam Frazier was named tournament MVP, and he was joined on the all-tourney team by pitcher outfielder Demarcus Henderson and pitcher Jonathan Holder.
• Big inning: MSU was already up 1-0 when it added two more in the fourth. Mitch Slauter led off with a single, and then Vandy starter Tyler Beede loaded the bases. He was pulled, and reliever Steven Rice walked the lone batter he faced, Frazier, to make it 2-0. Brent Brownlee followed with a sac fly RBI to score Sam Frost.
• Key stats: Vandy left 10 men on base, MSU nine. … Vandy stole no bases. It had six yesterday vs. Florida. … Today’s attendance: 12,526, mostly State fans.
• MSU at the plate: MSU had seven hits. … Hunter Renfroe had two hits, as did Slauter, who scored a run. Slauter’s double went for naught in the fifth as Henderson was gunned down at home plate. … Frazier was 1 of 3 with a run and RBI.
• Vanderbilt at the plate: The Commodores (33-26) six hits. … Conrad Gregor and Will Cooper each had a double.
• MSU on the mound: Reliever Ross Mitchell (2-0) got the win with five-plus shutout innings, giving up five hits, two walks and striking out three. Two of those strikeouts were very big, to end the seventh and eighth innings and stymie Vandy rallies. … Starter Brandon Woodruff tossed three innings, allowing one hit with two strikeouts and two walks. … After Caleb Reed got a double-play ball, Chris Stratton recorded the final out for his first save of the year.
• Vanderbilt on the mound: Starter Tyler Beede (1-5) lasted 3 1/3 innings, giving up three runs (all earned) on four htis with two strikeouts and three walks. … Vandy used five relievers.
• Bottom line: This team has won eight of its last nine games and will spell trouble for somebody in NCAA regional play. We don’t yet know where the Bulldogs will play, but we’ll find out tomorrow. The pitching staff will have time to rest until then, but it showed no signs of exhaustion today.
• Quotable: “Coaching’s overrated. Players’ toughness is the whole thing. These guys showed tremendous resiliency.” – MSU coach John Cohen