By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal
HOOVER, Ala. – The sting of being eliminated from the SEC Tournament shouldn’t last too long, because Mississippi State is eagerly anticipating earning an NCAA regional host bid.
Just ask Adam Frazier. After his team lost 16-8 to Vanderbilt in Saturday’s semifinals, he noted that MSU (43-17) has a record of 21-15 against top-50 RPI teams. And the Bulldogs went 3-1 here, including their third win of the season over South Carolina.
“Winning three games here, I think we did lock up a host site,” Frazier said. “It’s not official or anything like that, but we feel comfortable about that.”
ESPN will announce the 16 host sites tonight during its Major League Baseball coverage. MSU, which is 10th in the RPI rankings, has not hosted a regional in 10 years.
“I thought we did just about everything we could do to host a regional,” outfielder Hunter Renfroe said. “If they don’t give it to us, we’re going to go out somewhere else and win that one.”
Renfroe warms up
Entering Saturday’s game, Renfroe was batting .215 over his last 20 games. He had three hits, including a double, and two RBIs against Vanderbilt.
Coach John Cohen said Renfroe was never really in a slump.
“When his process is good, he’s a great hitter,” Cohen said. “You don’t necessarily always get hits.”
Bullpen lit up
When MSU reliever Chad Girodo gave up a run during a seven-run second inning, it brought to an end a streak of 44 consecutive scoreless innings by State’s bullpen dating to last year’s tournament.
That included 242⁄3 scoreless innings this week. In Tuesday’s 17-inning, 2-1 win over Missouri, MSU got 132⁄3 shutout innings from its relievers.