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Bulldogs' shortstop Adam Frazier goes 6 for 6 and starts three double plays against the Cavaliers on Saturday.
Mississippi State's Alex Detz is hit by a pitch during the fourth inning of an NCAA super regional game against Virginia in Charlottesville on Saturday.
Mississippi State's Adam Frazier (12) scores a run during the first inning of the NCAA super regional against Virginia in Charlottesville on Saturday.
Mississippi State's Hunter Renfroe (34) slides safely into home plate to score under Virginia catcher Nate Irving (18) in the fourth inning of the NCAA super regional in Charlottesville on Saturday.
Virginia's Brandon Waddell (20) pitches against Mississippi State in the NCAA super regional Saturday in Charlottesville.
Mississippi State's Adam Frazier (12) runs towards first base after hitting a single in the fifth inning of the NCAA super regional against Virginia in Charlottesville on Saturday. Mississippi State won 11-6.
Sunday, June 9, 2013
CHARLOTTESVILLE - The next time Mississippi State coach John Cohen bemoans the timing of the Major League Baseball draft, somebody needs to remind him of the time Adam Frazier went 6 for 6 at Davenport Field.
Frazier, the Bulldogs' junior shortstop, also started three double plays Saturday as Mississippi State pounded Virginia 11-6 in the first game of the Charlottesville Super Regional.
The Cavaliers face elimination in the best-of-three series Sunday night at 7, when they send fifth-year senior Scott Silverstein (10-1, 2.86 earned-run average) to the mound. A potential third game is slated for 4 p.m. Monday.
The Bulldogs learned Thursday night that center fielder Hunter Renfroe had been drafted by San Diego with the 13th pick in the first round and word came late Friday afternoon that the Pittsburgh Pirates had chosen Frazier in the sixth round.
"At this time of year, all 16 coaches who are still playing have [the draft] in the back of their mind," Cohen said. "You wouldn't be human, if you're 20 or 21 years old, if it didn't affect you.
"Everybody's like, 'Did you hear anything, did you hear anything?' Adam's a really cool customer and someone who's really mature, and I think we were asking a lot from him yesterday, when it was name after name after name.
"He just played like a guy who was totally relaxed today. It's a huge relief."
Frazier wasn't alone. Renfroe had four hits and a walk in his first five at-bats and the Bulldogs (47-18) had 20 hits as a team.
Virginia (50-11) hadn't allowed more than 16 hits in a game all season, and that was in an extra-inning affair with Old Dominion. Mississippi State's 20 hits were the most by a Cavalier opponent since 2007, when Coastal Carolina had 21 hits at Davenport Field.
What's more, the Cavaliers committed a season-high four errors Saturday, one apiece by two of the five freshmen pitchers used by Virginia, starter Brandon Waddell and reliever Josh Sborz.
Only five of Mississippi State's runs were earned.
"We take pride in handling the baseball a lot better than we did today," UVa coach Brian O'Connor said.
A key play early in the game came in the top of the third inning. Mississippi State, trailing 3-2, had runners on second and third when the Bulldogs' C.T. Bradford attempted a safety squeeze.
The ball went to Waddell, who had the option of throwing home or throwing to first. He did neither as the ball slipped out of his hand.
"Had Waddell handled the ball. I think we would have had the runner at home plate," O'Connor said. "I think that was certainly a big point in the ballgame."
One week ago, Waddell mishandled a bunt when Army carried off a successful squeeze play in the first game of the Charlottesville Regional. The Bulldogs noticed.
"There was a little of that on our scouting report," Cohen said. "There was a little bit of 'make him field his position out there,' and sometimes things like that happen to younger players."
It was the fifth time in his past six starts that Waddell had given up four runs or more. However, of the 27 runs he has allowed over his last 33 1⁄3 innings, only 18 have been earned.
"The difference between an earned run and an unearned run really doesn't matter because they all go up on the scoreboard," Waddell said. "You just need to go and pick up your teammates or pick up yourself."
Frazier, a left-handed hitter who pounded left-handers all day, led off the top of the first with a double. Alex Detz walked and then Renfroe, who said he loved the background provided by Davenport's 32-foot, center-field wall, tripled them home.
Trailing 2-0, Virginia got a home run from leadoff hitter Mike Papi on the second pitch he faced from Bulldogs' starter Kendall Graveman, and each of the Cavaliers' first six batters reached base.
Virginia moved in front, 3-2, but the damage was minimized when Nick Howard and Kenny Towns struck out to end the threat. UVa left only seven batters on base, compared to 15 for the Bulldogs, but potential Cavalier rallies ended on inning-ending double plays in the seventh and eighth.
"Thankfully, it's a two-game series and you have to win two ballgames to win this thing," said O'Connor, whose team had lost at home on a Saturday all weekend.
"We have to do better at executing our pitches and handling the baseball, the things that have gotten us to this point."
Mississippi St. 202 312 010 - 11 20 2
Virginia 300 102 000 - 6 11 4
Graveman, Mitchell (6) and Ammirati; Waddell, Sborz (4), Kirby (5), Rosenberger (6), Oest 8) and Irving. W-Graveman, 7-5. L-Waddell, 6-3. Sv-Mitchell (2). HR-Virginia, Papi (18).
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