MSU BASEBALL OPENS COLLEGE WORLD SERIES WITH WIN
OMAHA, Neb. – Mississippi State made its first-ever game at TD Ameritrade Park a truly rememberable experience.
Playing in the College World Series for the first time since 2007, MSU
knocked off No. 3 national seed Oregon State 5-4 in an opening-round
game played before a crowd of 24,473. The Bulldogs snapped a four-game
CWS losing streak and won here for the first time since 1998.
The contest was nip-and-tuck throughout. The Bulldogs rallied from two
different deficits for only the second time this season. Oregon State’s
Danny Hayes flied out to the right field warning track to end the
contest, barely missing a potential game-winning three-run home run.
“The breaking ball was a little high,” MSU relief pitcher Jonathan
Holder said. “I had nervousness when the ball left the bat. The whole
MSU will face either Indiana or Louisville in a winners’ bracket
contest at 7 p.m. Monday. The contest will be televised nationally by
“It was sloppy in the beginning,” MSU head coach John Cohen said. “We
had a couple of plays early that we didn’t make that could have made
our life easier. This group never quits. They will never give in. The
character of this team is incredible.”
Oregon State scored twice in the home half of the first inning after a
misplay on a ground ball opened the door. Michael Conforto began his
monster day with an RBI-double, while Danny Hayes followed with an
RBI-single. Both runs in the inning were unearned.
MSU (49-18) battled back for a 3-2 lead with three scores in the second
Brett Pirtle opened the inning by reaching as a hit batsman. Wes Rea
doubled down the left field line and a walk to C.T. Bradford loaded the
bases. Sam Frost and Demarcus Henderson followed with back-to-back
singles, while a misplay in the outfield allowed the third run in the
inning to trot home.
Oregon State (50-12) reclaimed the lead with single scores in the
fourth and fifth innings.
MSU starting pitcher Kendall Graveman was lifted with two outs in the
fifth inning. Graveman allowed six hits and four runs (two earned),
with two strikeouts and a walk. From there, Ross Mitchell and Holder
combined for 4.1 innings of shutout relief.
Mitchell earned the win to improve to 13-0. Holder recorded his 19th
save. The duo allowed four hits, with four strikeouts and two walks.
“We knew our pitchers had to help us get it done,” Cohen said. “That
been the story of our season. We are proud and fortunate. The last
swing of the game is a ball that was well hit. We benefited. The ball
bounced the right way. The ball bounces for you better when you have
kids who compete on every pitch.”
Mitchell is now tied for fourth in single-season victories at MSU.
“It has been incredible,” Mitchell said. “A lot of that I owe to
Jonathan Holder for the great season he has had.”
With his leadoff double in the first inning, Adam Frazier tied a school
record for single-season hits. His 104th hit in the fifth inning set a
new record. The nine postseason victories by the 2013 Bulldogs matches
a school record set by the 1990 squad.
“The record is great but it means even more when you can do that in a
win,” Frazier said. “I am really proud of this team for finding a way
The Bulldogs found that way in the eighth inning when Wes Rea slapped a
two-run, two-out double off Oregon State reliever Matt Boyd. Boyd
(10-4) took the loss with one inning of relief work, following starter
Andrew Moore, who pitched 7.1 innings. Conforto led the Beavers
offensively with four hits and a walk.
Prior to the Rea game-winner, Alex Detz and Hunter Renfroe had singles.
Rea and Frazier were the multiple hitters for MSU, which totaled eight
hits and worked around two errors.