FINAL: MSU 7, Tennessee 1 (Game 2)

Recapping MSU’s 7-1 win over Tennessee at Dudy Noble Field on Friday night.

The buzz: The Bulldogs (23-16, 7-10) captured their second SEC series of the season, using some big boy ball and Kendall Graveman‘s stellar pitching effort to take Game 2. Wes Rea and Adam Frazier did most of the damage, accounting for three of MSU’s four extra-base hits, but State got contributions from throughout its lineup, and there were several hard-hit balls that found fielders. Tennessee is 22-17, 7-10.

Big inning: It was 1-1 when MSU scored three times in the fourth. C.T. Bradford led off with a double, and then Rea stroked a one-out double off the third baseman’s glove. Matthew Britton walked, Sam Frost moved the runners over on a groundout, and Frazier delivered a two-run triple down the right field line for a 4-1 lead.

Key stats: Tennessee only got four balls out of the infield. … For the second straight night, MSU committed no errors. … MSU was 4 of 11 with runners in scoring position.

MSU at the plate: Rea was 2 of 3 with two doubles and three RBIs. … Frazier was 2 of 3 with a triple and three RBIs. … Bradford had two hits and scored two runs. … MSU had seven hits and got the leadoff man on base six times. … Britton, who entered the game hitting .113, didn’t get a hit, but his sac fly scored the game’s first run, and he also drew two walks and scored two runs.

Tennessee at the plate: UT had three hits. … Its lone run came in the fourth, when Davis Morgan slapped an RBI single to left field to tie the game, 1-1.

MSU on the mound: Graveman (3-2) threw his second complete game of the season. … He allowed one run on three hits, struck out eight and walked two. He had 15 groundball outs. … He threw 101 pitches, 72 for strikes. … Graveman retired nine in a row at one point, from the final out of the fifth inning to the second out of the eighth.

Tennessee on the mound: Starter Robbie Kidd (2-1) lasted 4 2/3 innings, allowing six runs (all earned) on five hits, walking five and fanning three. He left after Rea’s two-run double. … Reliever Josh Allman pitched the final 3 1/3 innings, allowing one run on two hits with no strikeouts and a walk.

Bottom line: This series could be a turning point for MSU, and the offensive outburst was encouraging. Through two games, MSU’s pitchers have allowed just two runs in 20 innings, and only three pitchers have actually worked. That means John Cohen has tons of options today as State goes for the sweep.

Quotable: “We won the Vandy series, too, winning on Sunday, and we thought that was going to catapult us, and then we went and got swept last week. We’ve got to finish it tomorrow and worry about the rest of the season later.” – Frazier

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